South Walton rallies for win over Choctaw

Tina Harbuck

SANTA ROSA BEACH – After the visiting Choctaw Indians belted two home runs in the second inning, the South Walton Seahawks answered with a few big shots of their own to win it 9-6.

“The Seahawks are on fire,” said an excited Nick Borthwick, South Walton baseball coach.

“Everybody contributed tonight and our seniors did a great job,” Borthwick said, noting it was senior night for the Seahawks.

And senior shortstop Austin Garofalo didn’t disappoint. With the bases loaded, Garofalo clobbered a 2-0 fastball over the left field fence in the bottom of the third to give South Walton an 8-4 advantage. The home run shot was the 11th for the senior. Senior Baze Clark also had two hits for the Hawks.

Choctaw took the early lead in the top of the second on a solo home run shot by Kyle Johnson and then a three-run homer that cleared the left field fence by Reese Kneen.

South Walton got three runs back in the bottom half. Freshman Aiden Keenan hammered a fast ball over the left field fence for a solo shot. The other two Seahawks runs were scored on a couple of Indian errors.

In the third, South Walton took the lead with one run walking in before Garofalo clobbered his grand slam.

Choctaw picked up a run in the top of the fourth on a dropped ball in center field.

The Indians scored their last run in the top of the fifth. Spencer Michalek singled up the middle and scored on hit from Kyle Johnson.

The Seahawks pushed another run across the plate in the bottom of the fifth. Garofalo walked and moved around to third on passed balls. He finally scored on an error.

South Walton freshman pitcher Keenan sat the Indians down in the last two innings ringing up for strike outs and no hits.