PANAMA CITY BEACH — With district tournaments just two weeks away, this is the time for teams to start finding their form before the arrival of postseason play. Monday’s non-district affair between Arnold and Bay pitted one team that appears to have found that form against another that is still very much in search of it.

The Marlins rallied back from an early 2-0 deficit to take a 5-2 victory over the Tornadoes. It’s the fifth straight victory for Arnold (14-7), while Bay (10-10) has now taken five in a row in the loss column. Terry Byers went 6 1/3 innings on the mound to get the win for Arnold, giving up just one earned run on five hits, a walk, three hit batters, and nine strikeouts. Jenson Barker went the distance for Bay and allowed four earned runs on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

"It was a good win for us," Arnold coach Greg Gumm said. "I thought Terry pitched really well. We came out in that first inning and gave them two runs, but we bounced back from there and did a great job the rest of the night."

Clay Parker led the Arnold offense, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs, while Thomas Risavalto was 2 for 3 with a run. Byers and Jerian Hardrick each had a hit and an RBI, and Dawson Redd had a hit and a run. Armani Larry had a double and a run for Bay, with Edgar Rodriguez going 1 for 3 with an RBI. Barker was 2 for 3.

The Tornadoes scored a pair of runs in the first inning, the first thanks to an RBI infield single by Rodriguez, and the second courtesy of an error to make it 2-0. Arnold got a run back via error in the bottom of the first and took the lead in the third inning with a pair of RBI singles by Parker and Hardrick to make it 3-2. An RBI single through the middle of the infield by Byers in the fifth inning scored Parker to make it 4-2, with an RBI sacrifice fly by Camden Hart in the sixth bringing home Risavalto for the final run.

Bay had a pair of golden scoring opportunities it couldn’t cash in on, with a third inning threat featuring runners at second and third with one out wasted when Byers struck out Zach Miller and Rodriguez to end the inning. The Tornadoes also stranded a pair of runners in the top of the sixth, as Byers got Elijah Covey to ground out meekly to the mound for the third out.

"We’re in a funk and we can’t get out of it," Bay coach Andrew Starr said. "This was a winnable game for us. They put the pressure on us and we had a chance to put pressure on them and just didn’t execute. It’s late in the season and we’re not getting better. It feels like we’re getting worse. We’re not sticking to the basics of Bay High baseball and not doing the little things right. The good news is we’ve got two weeks to get it right, or it’s going to be a short season for the Tornadoes."

By contrast, the Marlins have looked ready for the postseason for the better part of a month and have won 12 of their last 14 games. Gumm said a reinvigorated offense after a slow start to the season has been the key to his team’s surge.

"I think we’ve started hitting the ball better," he said. "We’ve been getting pretty good pitching for the most part all year, but we started scoring some more runs and getting a little more confidence. When we get behind like we did tonight, we’ve been able to fight through it. That’s a big part of why we’ve been successful."

Arnold will next play host to Wakulla Tuesday night in a District 2-6A contest. Bay returns to district play as well with a pair of games against Walton on Wednesday in DeFuniak Springs and Thursday at home. If the Tornadoes win either of those games, they will be the District 1-5A top seed.

 

Bay 200 000 0 — 2 5 3

Arnold 102 011 x — 5 9 2

Barker (L) and Owens. Byers (W), Canfora 7 and Hardrick.

LOB: Bay 7, Arnold 4. E: Larry, Owens, Barker, Bradley, Holman. 2B: Larry. Sac fly: Hart. DP: Arnold 4-3. RBI: Arnold 4 (Parker, Byers, Hardrick, Hart), Bay 1 (Rodriguez).

 

Softball

Arnold 17, Chipley 2

PANAMA CITY BEACH -- Ashley Troutman had a single, home run, four runs batted in, four runs and four stolen bases for Arnold, 15-7.

Alex Smith was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Danielle Lee 2 for 3 with an RBI, Ashley Allgood had a single, double and three RBIs and winning pitcher Pilar Egge was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

Arnold plays at Bay 6 p.m. on Tuesday.