Hard work is already paying off for the Destin Middle School Marlin baseball team.
The Marlins blasted their opponents, 12-0 and 10-0 in a preseason tournament in Fort Walton Beach over the weekend. However, the home crowd will get a chance to see what the Marlins can do at 4 p.m. today when they play host to the Baker Gators in their season opener.
"We've got a bunch of hard working kids," said Destin Coach Brian McDaniel. "They are just playing the game the way it's supposed to be played.”
In game one of the tournament, Destin knocked off Davidson 12-0. Eighth grader Matt Boswell was the winning pitcher striking out 11, and giving up two hits in five innings.
Getting the job done at the plate were Jason Shirley who went 3 for 3 with three RBIs; Chandler Carlyle, 1 for 3 with three RBIs; Carter Lurk, 1 for 3 with three RBIs. Harrison Brice, Jacob Edelman and Boswell each had one RBI.
"We're getting a lot of two-out hits," McDaniel said, noting the bats of Lurk and Nick Sherer.
"Nick Sherer did a great job behind the plate" as well, he said.
Although Boswell is probably McDaniel's No. 1 guy on the mound, Carlyle got a start on the mound in the tournament as well.
Carlyle threw against Bruner in game two of the tournament for a 10-0 shutout. Carlyle pitched five innings of two-hit ball and three strikeouts.
Shirley again was the top batter with a 3 for 3 turn at bat with two RBIs. Carlyle doubled for an RBI, while Noah Bailey, Jacob Edelman, Sherer and Robbie Leach each were good for an RBI.
"I thought we did a good job of bunting runners up," McDaniel said.
McDaniel said his leadoff batters, Boswell and Bailey do a good job of getting on base.
Then Shirley, Carlyle and Blake McRae add a "punch" in the middle of the lineup.
McDaniel is not just depending on Boswell and Carlyle to deliver on the mound.
"We've got eight guys that have seen action ... but I'll probably use four."
Some of the names he tossed around were Shirley and Nolan Berry.
"Nolan Berry is throwing well as a sixth grader," he said. "But I try to develop as many as I can.”
ON THE SCHEDULE
April 10 - Baker
April 22 - at Meigs
April 24 - St. Marys
April 29 - Ruckel
May 1 - Shoal River
May 6 - Bruner
May 8 - at Lewis
May 13 - at Davidson
May 15 - at Pryor
ON THE TEAM