By SAM GRUBENHOFF
NICEVILLE — Bucky McGlamry slowed to a halt as he reached the center-field wall. There was nothing more the Pensacola State outfielder could do.
With an assist from the wind, Jake Randa's fly ball carried just beyond the fence, and McGlamry could only watch. He pounded and open palm against the barrier's padded wall.
Randa, Northwest Florida State's first baseman, was already halfway through his home-run trot. His two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh inning put the Raiders ahead for good in Saturday's 15-10 victory against the visiting Pirates and snapped a seven-game losing streak.
"It feels amazing," Raider pitcher Christian Camacho said. "Nothing beats winning. I love winning. Losing's tough, but you just gotta push through and find a way to get back to winning ways."
Camacho, a sophomore right-hander, found a way to be NWF State's savior on the mound Saturday. After starting the game at shortstop, Camacho, who has logged 63 innings as a pitcher this season, was the seventh and final Raider pitcher to take the mound during the contest.
After a two-run double cut NWF State's lead to 13-10 with two outs in the seventh and with runners at second and third, Camacho struck out Fausto Lopez on four pitches to get out of the inning.
Moving from shortstop to the mound with no warm-up in between hardly fazed him, Camacho said.
"Just trying to get a feel for everything is kinda tough, but I kinda had a feeling they would go to me cause last night they went to me in a situation similar to that," Camacho said. "I just had to be ready and go out there and compete and give us a chance to get back in the dugout."
Camacho finished out the game's remaining two innings with a near spotless record. He allowed only two hits in 2 1/3 innings of work with three strikeouts. Of his 23 pitches, 18 went for strikes, and he was one of only two Raider pitchers not to allow an earned run.
He even recorded the game's final out, calling off catcher Cole Halfacre to haul in a pop fly behind home plate.
"I had to," Camacho said with a laugh. "Even coach, I heard him, 'Camacho! Camacho!' I had to go get it."
Where Camacho was NWF State's defensive stalwart, Halfacre served as its offensive engine.
Despite a .173 batting average, Halfacre opened the game by blasting a first-inning, opposite-field grand slam clear over the Holiday Inn advertisement in left field. It was his fourth home run of the season, and it put the Raiders (25-18 overall, 6-12 Panhandle Conference) up 5-0.
"Honestly, I never felt it," Halfacre said. "I hit it, and I saw it. He just happened to throw it in there where I wanted it, and I was able to get the barrel on it and hit it a long ways."
Halfacre and the Raiders managed to stay ahead for the remainder of the game, avoiding the walk-off scenario they had endured the night before in a 10-9 loss to the Pirates (22-23, 9-11) in Pensacola. NWF State piled on its final 10 runs between the fourth and seventh innings, including a six-run fifth inning.
Randa led all batters with a perfect 4-for-4 afternoon at the plate. His three RBIs were second only to Halfacre.
The Raiders 15 hits were their most in a game since they smacked 16 hits in a 13-1 victory against Lurleen B. Wallace at the end of February. Their 15 runs scored were their most in a game since a 16-13 victory against the Pirates in mid March.
"All season we've been able to hit the ball, hit the ball," Halfacre said. "Sometimes we just don't get the breaks we need. Today, I think we got one and it's gonna start rolling our way."
Sitting with a 6-12 record in conference play, the Raiders will need that offense to roll their way during their contest with Gulf Coast State at 5 p.m. Monday and throughout their final six games for a shot at postseason play.
Camacho said he thinks it's more than doable.
"We're all just fighting to the end," Camacho said. "We'll see what happens, see if we get some help. We're just gonna keep comin' out and workin' hard.
"Hopefully it goes our way, and we keep winning."