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Commodores win in 11th inning

Posted Apr 13, 2017 at 12:01 AM

By PAT McCANN
News Herald Executive Sports Editor

 

NICEVILLE — Missing two starters and with its state tournament possibilities beginning to waver, Gulf Coast dug into the playbook for a little resolve on Wednesday. Make that a lot of resolve.

 

The Commodores were rewarded by some good fortune as they defeated Northwest Florida State 5-3 in 11 innings.

The result, coupled with Chipola routing Tallahassee 11-0, created a tie for third place in the Panhandle Conference between Gulf Coast and Tallahassee at 8-10. Those teams meet for a key two-game series starting Friday in Tallahassee. Northwest Florida remained in second place at 10-8.

 

With six games remaining, the wind down of the conference season is becoming more than academic for the three teams still in the running for two possible state tournament berths.

 

Panhandle leader Chipola is secure in first place and Pensacola is out of it in last place.

 

However, Northwest Florida, Tallahassee and Gulf Coast each could wind up second, third or fourth. The top two teams earn

automatic berths and third place gets a play-in game with the third-place team from the Mid-Florida Conference for a wild-card slot.

 

Gulf Coast won its fourth straight game despite missing center fielder Jacquez Koonce, out with a collapsed lung suffered Saturday, and first baseman Alec Aleywine, who dislocated a finger in practice on Tuesday.

 

The Commodores rallied around a gritty performance by reliever Greg Loukinen, who went six and two-thirds shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out eight and walking one.

 

Northwest Florida State reliever Jarrett Montgomery, who came on in the third for Raiders’ starter Brayson Smith was even more dominant, allowing just four hits in eight and one-third. Although striking out nine and walking only two, his loss of control in the 11th was key in the Commodores prevailing.

 

Carnegy Calzado reached on an error with one out in the 11th for Gulf Coast (30-13). Calzado moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball as Eli Taylor coaxed a walk. Jeff Omohundro struck out for the second out, but Calzado scored on a

wild pitch with JT Duncan at the plate.

 

Duncan reached on an infield hit and Josh Nowak greeted reliever John Barr with a single to score Taylor with an insurance run.

 

Daino Deas stroked his fourth hit of the game leading off the Northwest 11th. Mike Salvatore forced him at second and moved up on a passed ball. Jake Corso, who already had a single and two doubles, flied to center field, bringing up Ross Goforth.

Goforth had drilled a two-run home run as the Raiders (26-15) scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. This

time Loukinen retired him on a fly ball to right fielder Calzado to end the game.

 

Gulf Coast took a 2-0 lead on Jordan Tylski’s two-run double in the third inning. Austin Krzeminski stranded six runners through four innings to make that hold up, but doubles by Deas and Corso and Goforth’s homer gave the Raiders a 3-2 edge.

Gulf Coast tied it 3-3 in the sixth inning. Calzado was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored when Omohundro singled up the middle.

 

The Raiders threatened against Loukinen in the sixth with runners on second and third and one out. Omohundro threw out Landon Crowder at the plate on a grounder to third, however, and Loukinen escaped.

 

A similar situation occurred in the Northwest seventh when Corso led off with a double and Goforth singled to put runners at the corners. Loukinen struck out Cole Halfacre and cut down Corso at the plate when Gabe Austin bounced to the mound. Crowder grounded out to end that threat.

 

Montgomery retired Gulf Coast in order from the seventh inning through the 10th until the Commodores finally broke through.

 

Gulf Coast;002 001 000 02 — 5 7 0

Northwest;000 030 000 00 — 3 12 2

 

Krzeminski, Loukinen (W) 5 and Nowak; Smith, Montgomery (L) 3, Barr 11 and Halfacre.

LOB: Gulf Coast 7, Northwest 12. E: Salvatore, Crowder. S: Guidry, Crowder. SB: Calzado, Harris 2. CS: Ranie. 2B: Duncan, Tylski, Corso 2, Deas. HR: Goforth. WP: Krzemenski, Montgomery 2. RBIs: Tylski 2, Omohundro, Nowak, Corso, Goforth 2.

 

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