SPRINGFIELD — The final day of the Panama City Invitational high school baseball tournament was full of surprises on Thursday.
Father Ryan of Nashville, Tenn., handed Mosley its first loss of the season, 2-0. In the following game, Farragut rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning against Arnold and won 7-3 by virtue of a walk-off grand slam.
Not to be outdone, Bay produced a 15-2 mercy-rule victory over Ensworth (Tenn.) in five innings that was noteworthy from a number of angles.
It was the first run-rule triumph for the Tornadoes, 6-9, since at least the 2011 season. The lopsided victory ended a span of eight losses in nine games, and gave Bay a boost entering its District 1-5A game at Choctawhatchee tonight.
Perhaps most importantly, it served as a reward of sorts for a struggling team that is trying to find the appropriate pieces to restore the program following a one-win season in 2013.
“We need all the confidence we can find,” head coach Daniel Davidson said. “We had two tough losses to Mosley and Rutherford last week and lost two this week. It was good for us to play loose, play relaxed, and do the things we need to do.”
The Tornadoes scored in every inning against the Tigers, 0-6, who made it a point of emphasis to use every player on the roster in the final game of their southern swing. That didn’t diminish the moment for the Tornadoes, but did serve to provide some perspective.
“We tried to play fast, play small ball and hopefully set a tone” for tonight’s district game, Davidson said.
Bay not only stroked 15 hits, but had 11 players hit safely. Seven of them drove in at least one run, led by Kristian Brogdon, who had a pair of two-run singles and four RBIs.
Garrett Whittle and Michael Clutch each drove in two runs and Whittle, Rashard Lucas and Jacob Brown also had two hits apiece.
Starting pitcher Tristen Ragen was the recipient of the offensive support and left with a 13-2 lead after four innings. Ragen allowed only three hits, and one of them was a fluke triple on a soft liner by Nick Rolfe in Ensworth’s first that was misjudged by Brogdon when that territory was a brutal sun field.
Beau Allen’s infield grounder brought in Rolfe, but that only closed the gap to 3-1. The Tornadoes scored seven times after two were out in the fourth and it was 13-1 before the Tigers scored again.
Freshman Spencer Sandlin pitched a scoreless fifth for Bay.
Host Rutherford entertained Jacksonville Mandarin in the last game of the tournament. To that point, Father Ryan was the lone school to produce a 3-0 record in the event, shortened from four days to three by extended rain on Monday.
Other teams’ tournament records, absent the final game, were: Mandarin 2-0, Farragut 2-2, Rutherford 1-1, Mosley 1-1, Bay 1-2, Arnold 1-2, and Ensworth 0-3.
In Wednesday’s late game, Mosley right-hander Andrew Deramo struck out 15 while improving to 6-0 in a complete game performance as the Dolphins edged Farragut 1-0.
Mosley scored in the first inning on Bo McGuffin’s hit and Clay Causey’s RBI single.
Tuesday results: Rutherford 7, Farragut 0; Father Ryan 5, Bay 3; Farragut 13, Ensworth 0; Jacksonville Mandarin 1, Arnold 0 (8 innings).
Wednesday results: Arnold 6, Ensworth 5 (8 innings); Father Ryan 2, Rutherford 1; Mandarin 10, Bay 3; Mosley 1, Farragut 0.
Thursday’s results: Father Ryan 2, Mosley 0; Farragut 7, Arnold 3; Bay 15, Ensworth 2; Rutherford vs. Mandarin (n).
Bay 312 72 — 15 15 2
Ensworth 100 10 — 2 4 6
Ragen (wp), Sandlin 5 and Kinsey; Lampley (lp), Heins 4, Johnson 4 and Schooley.
LOB: Bay 6, Ensworth 5. E: Bay 2 (Brooks, Kinsey), Ensworth 6 (Johnson, Lampley, Schooley, Lowe, H.Allen, Goodman). 2B: Lucas. 3B: Rolfe. SF: Lowe. SB: Brown, Whittle. HBP: Whittle by Lampley. WP: Lampley, Heins, Ragen. PB: Schooley.