Dusty Jones doubled, homered, scored twice and drove in four runs and Devante Taylor pitched four strong innings Thursday to lead Navarre to a 10-5 high school baseball win against visiting Pensacola Washington.
The non-district win gave the Raiders (12-10 overall) their first three-game winning streak of 2011 after winning back-to-back games four times.
Jones, a junior catcher and team co-captain, had three hits in four at-bats as the Raiders' designated hitter against the Wildcats (5-17). He gave Navarre the lead for good in the bottom of the first inning when, after freshman Jason Frederick reached on an error by Wildcat third baseman Ross Silecky, Jones blasted his first home run of the season -- and just the team's second in 2011 -- over the left field fence.
Navarre added three runs in the second and two in the third, building a 7-0 lead before Washington managed a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Taylor (2-1, 1.03 earned-run average) retired the first 10 batters he faced before the Wildcats' Brandon Dirden singled and Logan Hill doubled him to third. Silecky's single scored both runners before Taylor fanned Sam Hopkins for the second out. With Scott Robertson batting, Raiders' catcher Cale Secondine appeared to throw out Silecky at second, but Silecky was called safe. Noticing the Raiders' were running off the field after what they thought was the last out, the Washington runner bolted for third. Navarre shortstop Jared Gonzalez, still holding the ball after the play at second, wheeled and threw to Raiders' third baseman Kyle Camilli, who hurried back to the bag from the mouth of the Navarre dugout to tag out Silecky.
Taylor, who earlier Thursday became the first Navarre High School player to sign a letter of commitment to play baseball for an NCAA Division I program when he inked with Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss., allowed two earned runs on three hits and no walks. He struck out four Wildcats.
Washington pulled to within 7-5 with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth, but Navarre scored three in the bottom of the sixth to build a cushion for Raiders' closer Brandon Passalacqua. Jacob Terry singled to start the inning, moved to second on Frederick's sacrifice and scored on Jones' double. Jones stole third and scored on a two-out wild pitch. Justin Jordan, who drew a base-on-balls and advanced to second on the same wild pitch, scored on Taylor's single.
Terry went 2-for-2, scored twice and drove home a run; Chris Wheeler doubled, scored and had a run-batted-in; and Taylor drove home two runs.
Unofficially, the Wildcats outhit Navarre 10-8. Silecky was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, Hill doubled twice and scored two runs and Robertson was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Junior Shawn Madl and senior Nick Combs also pitched for Navarre, which played errorless defense and turned in several sparkling defensive plays. Camilli charged a dribbler up the third-base line by Tyler Spring and gunned the ball to Jordan at first, whose stretch for the throw while keeping his foot planted against the bag shortened the throw just enough to get the inning's first out. In the fifth Camilli, now playing shortstop, scooped up Anthony Beck's grounder and flipped the ball to Frederick at second to force out Thomas Fisher.
The win was Navarre's second against Washington; the Raiders outscored the Wildcats 11-6 in a fog-shortened game in the season-opener in Pensacola.
The Raiders (4-5 in District 1-5A) are scheduled to play district champion and defending Class 5A state champion Pace (19-3) tonight at Pace. The Patriots, whose only district loss came Feb. 25 at Milton, 5-4, had won 14 straight, including two against Navarre, before losing to Pensacola Catholic 4-3 on Thursday at the University of West Florida.
Weather permitting, the junior varsity is scheduled to play at 4:30 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7 p.m.