Panama City, FL---The Gulf Coast Commodores baseball team has been locked in a battle in the Panhandle conference. Heading into Saturday afternoon's game against Northwest Florida they sat on top of the conference standings, but had yet to clinch a postseason spot.
A win against the Raiders would give them just that.
The Commodores jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first, but the visitors came right back and tied it up in the second.
Woody Edwards brought the lead back the Commodores way in the bottom half of that inning as well. His two run single put the 'Dores up 4-2.
After a scoreless third and fouth, NWF would score three straight runs in the fifth and sixth to go up 5-4.
Yet the Commodores would answer back with two of their own in the sixth to gain the advantage back in their favor and lead 6-5.
The score would be tied for the fifth time when Jernigan would take Gulf Coast reviler Dalton Kelly deep in the top of the eighth, making the score 6-6.
Kelly would come up with his revenge when he would come in to score the game winning run in the bottom of the eighth on a Ryan Kozial line drive.
Kozial would come on, close out the game, and come up with the save, as Gulf Coast wins a tight one, 7-6.
The win ensures Gulf Coast will finish no worse than second in the conference standings. With the top two teams guaranteed a spot in the FCSAA State Tournament.
As for the Raiders, the loss keeps them in third place in the Panhandle. They are four games back of second place Chipola, who beat Pensacola 10-2 in Marianna Saturday.
In the highlights attached above, the action picks up in the bottom of the 2nd, tied at 2, with two on for Woody Edwards. He bounces one past short and get two RBI's. Chandler Durham, Max Bartlett score. Gulf Coast up 4-2.
Commdores starter Cameron Ragsdale would have to battle the Northwest Florida bats, as the Raiders tie the game in the 5th, then take the lead in the 6th, as Ty Russ drives in Steven Jernigan who barrels head first into home. Gulf Coast would tag a runner out to end the inning, but the visitors are up 5-4.
The Commodores get to back to work in the bottom of the 6th. Christian Williams sends it to right. The throw coming home, not in time. Nick Flair scores. 5-5.
Same inning, with Bartlett at the plate, he also takes it to right. The throw home a second time, bang-bang play, but Williams just beats the throw.
Gulf Coast goes on to win 7-6. They clinch a spot in the state tourney.