What started with a bunt ended in a five-hit rally and 5-1 victory for the South Walton Seahawks over the visiting Northside Methodist Academy Knights of Dothan, Alabama, in a preseason baseball game Tuesday night.
“I like the way we got a rally started offensively with our bunt game,” said Seahawk Coach Nick Borthwick.
With a scoreless game going into the bottom of the third inning, South Walton’s Levi Ortwein put down a bunt single. The next batter struck out, but then Jace Hughes put down a bunt. Kai Wilk took one deep to center field for an out but advanced the runners. Up next, Aidan Keenan doubled down the third baseline to score Ortwein and Hughes. Michael Sharp followed suit with a double down third for an RBI. Drake Roberts continued the rally with a double to left center to score Sharp and a 4-0 lead.
South Walton picked up its last run in the fourth on a double from Cole Cartwright, followed by back-to-back singles from Ortwein and Cade Watson.
Northside scored its only run in the top of the fifth. Tyler Grantham walked and scored on a hit from Bauer Sharp, the Knights only hit of the game.
“I thought our pitchers competed without their best stuff … they didn’t have their fastball command,” Borthwick said.
“However, a one-hitter — never going to complain about that,” he added.
Keenan started on the mound for the Seahawks and went three innings, faced 13 batters, struck three, walked two and hit two batters. Watson, a southpaw, stepped on the mound next and faced 10 batters, struck out four and walked four, and gave up one hit.
Wilk finished up the last couple of innings. He faced six batters, struck out three and hit one batter.
Borthwick also had praise for his catcher.
“Drake Roberts was back there making some great defensive plays, throwing out three or four runners. That’s very important to our defense,” he said.
Roberts picked off runners trying to take second in the first, third and fourth innings, plus slapped the tag on a runner at the plate.
“We also had a couple of freshman out their in the field that made some plays … I’m impressed with that,” he said.
“But we’ve still got some work to do.”
The Seahawks will open their regular season with a 6:30 p.m. home game Monday against the Arnold Marlins of Panama City Beach.