The Ruckel Rams hammered out nine hits to rock the Destin Marlins 13-2 Monday afternoon in middle school baseball action in Destin.
"We just didn't come out and compete," said Destin Coach Brian McDaniel. "It's mental. Ruckel is a very talented team, and in order for us to compete with them we can't give them extra outs. We have to pitch well. We have to do a great job of hitting, and we didn't do a lot of those things at all.
"In the first inning we misplayed two ground balls ... and they scored two runs," McDaniel added.
Destin scored a run in the bottom of the first. Noah Bailey walked and scored on a single to left by Nick Sherer.
Then in the next inning, "We get two outs, we're doing a good job," he said. "Matt (Boswell) is doing a good job of keeping them off balance, then we give them an extra out."
Following an error, the next Ram batter, Reese Hinds, slapped one over the fence for a three-run shot and Ruckel was on top 5-1.
"When we extended those first two innings, and they took advantage of it ... that was huge," he said. "You really can't play catch up. But you've got to give them credit; they put the ball in play when they had to. They hit the ball hard."
In the third, Ruckel scored four more runs on three hits. Chance Huff singled for two RBIs and Nick Nolan doubled in two runs.
In the fourth, the Rams added one run on a sacrifice fly by Nick Hazama.
Destin picked up one more run in the bottom of the fourth. Jason Shirley led with a double down the left field line and scored on a single up the middle by Chandler Carlyle. Then the Destin bats went cold.
Ruckel finished off the game in the fifth with two runs on one hit.
Nolan, Hinds and Barth each had two hits for the Rams.
Destin connected for only three total hits — Sherer, Shirley and Carlyle.
The Marlins went through three pitchers. Boswell started on the mound and faced 20 batters, walked three, struck out three and gave up eight hits. Shirley pitched to three batters, for one strike out and two walks. Sixth grader Cameron Gagliano came in and finished out the game facing 10 batters, walking one, striking out one and giving up one hit.
Up next for Destin, 3-1, is a 4 p.m. game Wednesday at home against Shoal River of Crestview.
"They beat us in a close game last year," McDaniel said. "We want to get some revenge on them.”