Raiders inch closer to Panhandle crown

Raiders inch closer to Panhandle crown

PANAMA CITY — From Tar Heel to hero, Mikey Madej has had a good week.

Four days after committing to play for the University of North Carolina, the NWF State sophomore delivered a two-run double in the top of the ninth inning Monday to lift the Raiders (35-8, 16-3) to a 6-5 comeback win at Gulf Coast State.

The Raiders trailed 5-3 going into the eighth inning before Will Moriarty's solo blast to right field trimmed the deficit in half. An inning later Franks led off with a double to left and Simonich walked.

After Kaden Polcovich struck out, Madej lined a deep shot to center field to drive in Franks and Simonich and put the Raiders up 6-5.

Jackson Boyd tossed a scoreless ninth for his eighth save to pad NWF State's Panhandle Conference lead, which now sits at three games over defending national champion Chipola (26-15, 13-6) with five games to play.

Remaining on the slate? The Raiders host Gulf Coast State (23-18, 5-12) today and Tallahassee (28-17, 9-9) on Friday, travel to Tallahassee on Saturday and then to Chipola on Monday before hosting the Indians on Wednesday.

It'd be hard to argue there's a hotter team in the country than NWF State, which has won 26 of its past 29 games in vaulting to sixth in the country and second in Region 8.

Collectively, the Raiders are hitting .301 with six batters at or above the .306 mark. That includes Madej, who's hitting .369 with 33 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

Jake Randa leads the team with a .397 average, Polcovich has a team-best seven homers and 41 runs, and Moriarty's 43 RBIs and 21 extra-base hits lead the team, accenting a .370 average.

Meanwhile the pitching staff has a collective 2.03 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 336 strikeouts in 319 frames.