Panhandle High School Baseball
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Pensacola Catholic Cruises To Big Win Over Pace

After a wild back-and-forth start to the game that saw several lead changes, the Pensacola Catholic Crusaders (#3 PH Power Rankings) and Pace Patriots (#13 PH Power Rankings) entered the fifth inning knotted at six. Crusaders’ catcher Cole Moore then broke the tie for good, driving in two with a single to center field. The hit ignited the Crusaders offense and they tacked on nine more runs over the next three innings and cruised to a 17-6 road win Wednesday night.

The two RBIs from Moore were part of a 2-for-3, four RBI night for the catcher. He also added a run for the Crusaders (12-2), who matched their largest offensive output of the season, which was also a victory over these Patriots. Five different players had multi-run games for the Crusaders. Devin Whitehead led the way, scoring four times and going 3-for-4 at the plate with a walk.

The bottom of the Crusaders’ order was on fire from first pitch on. AJ Yates, Kent Woodfin, Sam Carpenter and Moore occupied the eight and nine hole for the Crusaders and crushed the ball, combining to drive in 12 and score seven runs. Yates led with five RBIs and Woodfin crossed the plate three times.

The start of the game was promising for the Patriots (8-5) as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second inning. A Bennet Shell double drove in two and gave the Patriots their first lead at 2-1. Shell scored on a sac-fly from Andrew Bates and Izzy Ham drove in a run to reach the 4-1 lead.

Now facing a 6-4 deficit, Bates added another RBI in the fourth for the Patriots to close to within one, and they eventually tied it again later in the inning when Caleb Vincent crossed the plate on a passed ball. However that was all the offense the Patriots mustered and the very next inning they surrendered five runs to the Crusaders and were unable to answer back.

Stephen Halstead picked up the victory for the Crusaders after entering the game in the fifth inning for starter JC Carrell. Halstead allowed just one hit in the final three-and-two-third innings, shutting down the Patriots offense.

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