NICEVILLE — Gulf Coast moved to the verge of elimination from the postseason when a porous defense led to a 4-3 loss on Monday in Panhandle Conference baseball.
The Commodores are 23-21 and 8-13 in the conference. The only way they could qualify for the state tournament is if they win their final three conference games, second-place Tallahassee loses its final four and Gulf Coast wins a one-game playoff.
Third-place Pensacola also is in the mix ahead of Gulf Coast at 9-11.
Starting pitcher Trever Kilcrease was victimized by five Commodore errors and a three-run second inning by the Raiders, 26-19, 7-12. Leo Horacio had two runs batted in for Northwest Florida.
Gulf Coast briefly tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth, but the Raiders answered with a run in the bottom half.
The Commodores advanced Clay Kelley to third base in the eighth, and had Stevie Moffatt and Ben Rowdon on against reliever Ethan Routzahn in the ninth but couldn’t produce a key hit to tie the game.
Cole Halfacre had three of Northwest Florida’s six hits. Brett Wisely, Alec Aleywine and JT Duncan each had two hits for the Commodores and Wisely had an RBI.
Thomas Farr was the winning pitcher for the Raiders working six innings with six strikeouts.
The teams end their season series at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Frazier Field.