Navarre’s baseball team celebrated its first district title since 2015 Friday night by engulfing Ben Waschenko under a dogpile just off the pitching mound on Niceville’s home diamond.
The bench erupted and cleared the instant Eric Anderson gloved Garon Finley’s flip from second base to cap a 9-8 win over Niceville.
Although Navarre has made the regional postseason twice in the previous three years, the team’s 12 seniors won its first district championship, hoisting the District 2-7A trophy and earning a berth in the regional playoffs. Navarre played Escambia Wednesday in its regional opener.
Friday’s game against top-seeded Niceville was a back-and-forth affair. It was Finley’s three-run double in the top of the sixth inning that put Navarre up for good.
“The hit of his life,” Cameron Terrian said. “That was huge.”
Navarre scored five times in the top of the sixth – retaking the lead 9-5 – then worked hard to protect that cushion.
Kaleb Hellard and Waschenko tag-teamed pitching responsibilities in the title matchup. Hellard went five innings, and Waschenko carried the last two.