The Raiders threw away their home and district opener Saturday. Literally.
Milton's baseball Panthers scored four unearned runs with two outs in the seventh inning of a 6-2 District 1-5A matchup at Navarre High School.
Raiders' pitcher Jarrett Zimmerly retired the Panthers in order in the sixth and struck out the first two Milton batters in the seventh before disaster struck. Zimmerly walked C.J. Stell, then leadoff batter Harold Henderson slapped a routine grounder to Navarre third baseman Cale Secondine. Secondine threw the ball over first baseman Justin Jordan's head and Jordan, trying to catch Henderson advancing to second, threw the ball into left field. Stell scored and Henderson ended up at third.
Zimmerman then walked Trae Walsingham before Navarre coach Mickey O'Quinn called for Brock Secondine. Paul Young singled to score Walsingham, who had stolen second base, and Tyler Watson doubled off the right-center-field fence to score Young before Secondine struck out Charles Jimenez looking.
Navarre, which led 2-0 after three innings, tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh. Jason Frederick, hitting for Zimmerly, reached on an error and freshman Gavin Wehby drew a walk, bringing up the top of the Raiders' order with no outs. But Walsingham, who relieved Stell, fanned Raiders' catcher Dusty Jones and got Jacob Terry and Devonte Taylor on a pop-up to the catcher and a fly to right field, ending the contest.
The Raiders' Chris Wheeler walked leading off the second inning, moved to second on Jordan's groundout to the pitcher and third on Cale Secondine's grounder to shortstop. Kyle Camilli singled in Wheeler and reached second safely ahead of the shortstop's throw on a Zimmerly ground ball. Milton starting pitcher Jordan Martin struck out Wehby looking to end the inning. Jones and Terry reached safely on consecutive infield singles to start the third. Jones was thrown out trying to score on Taylor's solid single to right, but Terry took third on the play and scored two batters later when the Panther's shortstop bobbled a smash by Jordan.
Jordan pitched the first five innings for Navarre, allowing a run in the fourth and one in the fifth. He allowed five hits, struck out five and walked one. The junior led the Raiders at the plate with two hits in three at bats, including a double and a run-batted-in. Terry had a hit and a run scored in four at bats and Camilli was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Jones, Taylor, Zimmerly and Wehby had Navarre's other hits.
The Raiders committed six errors.
Watson led the Panthers with three hits, including a double, Jimenez had a pair of singles and Young and Tanner Lunsford each hit safely.
Stell got the win for Milton (2-1, 1-0 District 1-5A) in relief of Martin, who allowed both Raiders' runs, gave up eight hits, struck out six and walked one. Walsingham earned the save.
Zimmerly took the hard-luck loss for Navarre (1-2, 0-1).
The Raiders play two district foes on the road this week, at Tate on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and at Pine Forest on Friday, Feb. 25. Both varsity games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. or at the conclusion of junior varsity contests, which are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.