South Walton slips by Freeport in eighth inning

Staff Writer
Walton Sun
South Walton catcher Dustin Allen makes the tag on Freeport's Chase Caswell. Both look to the umpire for the call in the bottom of the fourth inning. Caswell was called out.

With the game deadlocked, the South Walton Seahawks pushed a run across the plate in the bottom of the eighth to post a 2-1 win over Freeport High in varsity baseball action Tuesday evening in Santa Rosa Beach.

"We really came together as a team," said Seahawk Coach Nick Borthwick.  "I'm proud of their effort and attitude. I believe in this team."

With the win the Seahawks move to 6-6 on the season.

"We're back in the middle of the district race now," Borthwick said. "We want to make the playoffs — that's our goal."

On Tuesday, Freeport got on base early in the first inning, but South Walton shut them down with a ground out and a pop fly to second baseman Tyler Slotter.

The Bulldogs threatened again in the second when they loaded the bases on a hit from Noah Simmons, a hit batter and an error. But again the Seahawks got out of it with pitcher Sage Roberts ringing up two strikeouts.

In the fourth, Freeport again got a runner in scoring position, but was pegged at the plate on a throw from left fielder Joe Canalejo to catcher Dustin Allen who made the tag on Chase Caswell for the third out.

South Walton tried to push a runner home in the bottom of the fourth, but like the Bulldogs, he was tagged out at the plate.

In the top of the fifth, Freeport finally broke onto the board. Levi Thames singled to left center, moved around to second on a passed ball and scored on a single to right by Ryder Newman.

South Walton tied the score in the bottom of the sixth on a couple of hits. With one out, Zach Lance doubled to right and moved to third on a single up the middle by Fletcher Wilson. Jeremy Pfeiffer took one deep to center field to sacrifice Lance to tie the game.

In the top of the seventh, Freeport connected for two hits and managed to load the bases, but to no avail. Dakota Davis singled to right center and the next two batters popped up for outs. William Morrison doubled to left and Newman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. The next Bulldog popped up to center fielder Sage Roberts for the final out.

South Walton got a runner in scoring position as well in the bottom half, but didn't score.

However, in the bottom of the eighth the Seahawks finished off the game. Lance knocked a hopper up the middle for a base hit and then moved around to second on a sacrifice bunt by Fletcher Wilson. Lance stole third and Jeremy Pfeiffer flew out to left field. Up next, Tyler Slotter drilled a single to left and Lance scored for the win.

"Our pitchers did a good job," Borthwick said. Roberts started on the mound and threw five innings. "He got out of a lot of jams," he said. Roberts gave up four hits, five walks and two strike outs.

Fletcher finished up on the mound throwing three innings, facing 14 batters, giving up two hits and one walk.

The Seahawks had nine hits with Lance collecting three. Allen and Jeremy Pfeiffer each doubled, while Roberts, Drew Pfeiffer, Wilson and Slotter each singled.

The loss drops Freeport to 3-6 on the season.

Up next for Freeport is an 11 a.m. game at home against Tennessee University School.

South Walton will play host to Prattville Christian at 5 p.m. Monday.