The Destin Marlins connected for 15 hits to put the Walton Warriors away 20-5 in four innings of middle school baseball Monday afternoon.
“I think it’s the mindset. These older guys have stepped up as well as some of the younger ones and they have really grown up a lot and playing aggressive baseball,” said Destin Coach Matthew Cawthon. “We’re getting up to the plate and looking to jump on a good pitch.”
And jumping on a good pitch is what the Marlins did.
Preston Murphy led the Marlins with a three-for-three turn at bat with two home-run blasts and a double for a total of six RBIs. Aiden Garrity went three-for-three as well with a homer and two singles for two RBIs. Logan Cann hit three singles. Caleb Reeder slapped a home run and a single and Luke Edelman a doubled and singled.
“We’re just playing hard the way you’re supposed to play the game,” Cawthon said.
In the first inning, Destin shut Walton down quickly then came in and scored three runs. Leadoff batter Garrity smacked one over the centerfield fence to start the game. The next batter grounded out then Murphy slapped one over the left field fence. Up next, Edelman doubled to right and scored on a throwing error for a 3-0 lead.
In the second, Walton put up one run on a walk and an error.
In the bottom half, Destin nearly went through the lineup twice. Cann got two singles, while Reeder, Garrity and Edelman each got one. Murphy clobbered a grand slam over the fence that hit the flagpole for a 15-1 advantage.
In the third, the Marlins picked up four more runs. Reeder led with a solo homer out centerfield. Ryan Orr singled and scored on a passed ball. Cooper Stanford reached on an error and Cann singled. Garrity singled for an RBI and Murphy knocked in the other run on a double for a 19-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Walton had their biggest inning of the game scoring four runs on three hits.
Destin came in and scored the one run needed for a 15-run ruling on the game. Reeder walked and scored on a single from Hunter Barber.
Pitching for the Marlins were Orr, Dylan Matakevich and Donovan Monsees. Orr pitched the first three innings facing 13 batters, striking out four and giving up one hit and two walks. Matakevich faced five batters, walked one and gave up three hits. Monsees wrapped up the game facing four batters, striking out one and giving up one walk.
Up next for the Marlins is a 4:30 p.m. game Wednesday at home against the Ruckel Rams, their only loss of the season.