Navarre workhorse Brock Secondine retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced Tuesday in the Raiders' 4-2 high school baseball win at Fort Walton Beach.
"It builds everybody's confidence, really," Secondine, a senior, said after the Raiders (14-11) won its final regular season game. Navarre has won five of its last six games and eight of its last 11. "I wish we could have started the season playing this well, but Coach (Mickey O'Quinn) keeps telling us this team has a history of playing its best at the end of the year. Hopefully we can keep that going."
Secondine, whose 46.2 innings pitched is 10 more than anyone else on the club, improved his record to 6-2. He allowed two earned runs on five hits and a walk in seven innings pitched and struck out four Vikings to raise his team-leading total to 47.
Navarre took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Jason Frederick drew a leadoff base-on-balls, moved to second when Dusty Jones reached on an error and scored on a one-out double by Justin Jordan. Jones scored when Vikings catcher Brandon Horn's attempt to pick off Jones at third hit the junior captain and skittered into left field.
The Vikings tied the game in the second inning, but the Raiders scratched out the eventual winning runs in the fourth. Devante Taylor led off with a double to the left centerfield wall and advanced to third on Chris Wheeler's sacrifice bunt. Catcher Cale Secondine, Brock's younger brother, drew a base on balls. With Jarrett Zimmerly pinch-hitting for Gavin Wehby, Fort Walton Beach pitcher Sam Bass tried to pick pinch runner Kyle Rogers off but overthrew J.D. Little at first. Taylor scored and Rogers sped all the way to third. Zimmerly followed with a blooper that dropped for a hit in shallow left field, scoring Rogers.
Bass started and pitched four-and-one-third innings for the Vikings (11-10). He fanned 10 Raiders but also surrendered five hits and seven bases-on-balls and hit a batter.
Fourth-seeded Navarre will play No. 5 Escambia at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at Escambia in the first round of the District 1-5A tournament. Third-seeded Milton and No. 6 Pine Forest meet in the opener at 4:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play No. 2 Tate at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and the Escambia-Navarre winner will play the top seed, defending Florida Class 5A champion Pace, in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Those winners, both of which qualify for the Region 1-5A tournament, will play for the district title at 7 p.m. Thursday, also in Escambia.