With darkness falling on the field, the umpires called the game in the middle of the sixth inning, but not before the Ruckel Rams pounded out nine hits to beat the Destin Marlins 13-9 Monday in Niceville.
Ruckel got on the board first with three runs in the first inning. Ryan Teel reached on an error, and then Aaron Jenkins singled to left. Destin pitcher Aiden Garrity picked Jenkins off at first before Chase Waters belted one over the right centerfield fence for two RBIs. Addie Moore followed with a home-run shot to right center as well. Garrity struck out the next two batters for a 3-0 inning.
In the top of the second, Destin evened the score. Luke Edelman banged the first pitch, a curve ball, over the right centerfield fence to start things off.
When Edelman was asked if he likes to hit curve balls?
“I do today,” he said.
Garrity and Parker Hill walked and scored on a single to left center by Blake Orr for a 3-3 game.
The Destin defense shut Ruckel down in the bottom half. Garrity struck out two and Caleb Reeder at short stop caught a fly ball for the other out.
In the top of the third, Destin took the lead. Jackson Crews walked and moved around to second on a sacrifice bunt from Reeder. Preston Murphy walked and Crews stole third. The next Marlin struck out and Crews slipped in home on a passed ball to give Destin a 4-3 advantage.
Destin sat Ruckel down again. Reeder fielded a grounder for an out, Garrity struck out a batter and then Crews caught a fly in centerfield to end the inning.
In the fourth, the Marlins failed to get on base and then held the Rams in check in the bottom half. Garrity struck out one and then pulled off a double play to end the inning up 4-3.
In the fifth, Destin made a pitching change and Ruckel took advantage, cracking on the ball for five hits and seven runs for a 10-4 lead.
With darkness closing in, Destin stepped up to bat in the top of the sixth and put five runs on the board on walks, crafty base running and one hit from Crews.
The umpires continued the game with Ruckel batting in the bottom of the sixth. After the Rams scored three runs on four walks, an error and a hit, the umpires called the game with only one out.
Connecting for two hits each for Ruckel were Waters, Moore and Jack Messmore.
Crews, Edelman and Orr had the three hits for Destin.
Up next for Destin is a 4 p.m. game at home Wednesday against the Davidson Panthers.