Brandon Horn's three-run bash sparked Fort Walton Beach to a 9-4 high school baseball win Tuesday at Navarre.
Horn's third-inning blast over the fence in left center field gave the Vikings to a 4-0 lead. Fort Walton Beach (3-1) added five runs in the fourth, staking starting pitcher Sam Bass to a 9-0 lead before Navarre designated hitter Chris Wheeler hit the Raiders' first home run of the season, a solo shot leading off the bottom of the fifth inning.
The non-district loss dropped Navarre's overall record to 3-3; the Raiders are 1-2 in District 1-5A play.
Bass fanned 11 Raiders and allowed two earned runs in five innings to earn the win. He gave up four hits, walked four and hit a Navarre batter with an errant pitch.
Raiders' starter Jacob Terry retired the first six batters he faced before struggling through the four-run third inning. He walked Trey Marshall, hit Troy DeGennaro with a pitch and walked Braden Smith to load the bases with no outs. Dale Smith grounded to second baseman Jason Frederick, who threw to Kyle Camilli covering second to force out Braden Smith while Marshall scored. Horn cleared the bases on Terry's first pitch before the junior hurler got Bass to line out to center field and Camilli leaped to snare a drive by Phillip Gabes.
The Raiders played generous hosts in the fourth, giving the Vikings five runs on two hits, two walks and three errors -- two on almost identical plays by Terry and relief pitcher Derrick LaMar. Both batters fielded grounders in front of the mound and overthrew first base, allowing the batters to reach second base while Raiders chased the ball in right-field foul territory.
Justin Jordan and Jason Frederick each singled and doubled for the Raiders, accounting for half of Navarre's eight hits. Gavin Wehby, Dusty Jones and Kyle Camilli also hit safely. Jordan relieved LaMar to start the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings. The Raiders left 12 runners on base and left the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings.
The Raiders will host their next two varsity games against district rivals Escambia and Pace on March 8 and March 10, respectively. Navarre's freshmen squad will play at Pace on Thursday, March 3, and host Milton on Friday, March 4. Both games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.