NICEVILLE ” Northwest Florida State TMs magic number has been reduced to one.
As for how the Raiders got to within one game of clinching the Panhandle Conference No. 3 spot and with it a possible wild card spot in next month TMs Region 8/FCSAA tournament, there TMs no easy way to explain how a Steven Jernigan ninth inning single resulted in a 7 6 walk off win over Tallahassee Wednesday night at Raider Stadium.
Down 6 5 in the ninth, the Raiders were three outs from falling to 7 8 in the conference and allowing Tallahassee to improve to 7 10 and move within Pandora Bracelet a game of the three seed. But winners of four of their past five, the Raiders (26 14) wouldn TMt give up ground.
The ninth inning rally started with Tanner Halstead leading off with a hit by pitch to bounce reliever Logan Elliot, who had the inning before been given a one run lead. Two batters later, Collin Strall walked Danny Blanco to bring up Jernigan, who laced a single right back to Strall. Strall deflected the hard hit ball, which rolled past the shortstop Ryne Willard into the outfield grass. But while Danny Blanco trudged to third base with his head down, Halstead retreated to third after missi Pandora Bracelet ng the bag on his way home. The confusion forced Halstead to race home as the throw from center field came in well ahead of his pace. But the throw sailed high and deflected off catcher Robert Henderson TMs glove, allowing both Halstead and Blanco to score and igniting a furious celebration that spilled from the dugout into the infield grass.
Now the Raiders are one game from a postseason bid.
I was running hard trying to get home, but when I saw him there I was like, Woah, they got us. TM Blanco said. But it worked out.
Coach Doug Martin had the best view coaching alongside the third baseline.
I held him up because he really didn TMt touch third base and he knew he didn TMt touch third base, Martin said of Halstead. That TMs why he stayed. Then once you saw Danny with his head down running, we just said, Keep going. TM
As for the viewpoint from Jernigan, who had two of the Raiders TM seven hits: I just hit it and I saw that the pitcher missed it and I never looked back. I was just trying to get to first.
The wild finish saved the Raiders from a near heartbreaking collapse.
Continuing the momentum from a sweep of Pensacola, the Raiders pounded out five runs in the second inning ” Pandora Bracelet highlighted by a Kodi Russ two run single ” to take a 5 2 lead.
But that didn TMt faze the Raiders, who got a scoreless ninth from winning pitcher James Granat before en Pandora Bracelet ding the night in walk off fashion.
We TMre going to enjoy this one for a bit, Martin said. When you come back like that after winning and then coughing it up, it TMs special. We have a good enough to team to compete and win big games when we play hard enough. We just found a way tonight.