The Destin Marlins connected for eight hits to post a 12-1 victory over the Freeport Bulldogs on the road this week in middle school baseball.

“They are finally starting to swing the bat a little bit,” said Destin Coach Matthew Cawthon.

“We hit some balls really really hard and put some in the gap, and even hit some right at them that didn’t work out but overall we hit a lot better,” Cawthon added.

Caleb Reeder went two for four at bat, while Price Bowen came off the bench and doubled for two RBIs. Noah Wright also came in late with a single for two RBIs. Hunter Barber and Dylan Matekovich each hit singles for an RBI while Taylor Braxton and Gavin Garrity each got a base hit.

As for the pitching staff, Destin used three. Braxton started on the mound and faced seven batters and struck out three. Donovan Monsees came in next and faced eight, struck out two, walked one and gave up one hit. Reeder finished up striking out two of three batters faced.

“Our pitching is still right where it needs to be. I’m impressed with all of our guys that got on the hill today,” Cawthon said.

“All of them threw very well and hit their spots.”

The Marlins came out strong in the first inning putting four runs on the board then held Freeport scoreless in the bottom half.

In the second, Destin picked up one more run on a walk and a couple of Freeport errors.

In the bottom of the third, Freeport scored its lone run. Peyton Kruger reached on a fielder’s choice and moved around on a single from Niles King. Kruger later scored on an error for a 5-1 game where it stayed until the fifth.

In the top of the fifth, the Marlins made a few substitutions and put a seven-spot on the books. Bowen doubled up the middle for two RBIs and Wright singled to left to knock in two runs.

Reeder stepped on the mound in the bottom half for Destin and finished off the Bulldogs with two strikeouts and a pop fly.

“We’re just playing hard baseball,” Cawthon said.

“We’re pulling up to the ballpark and we’re ready to play. We’ve got older guys and younger guys that are hungry every single pitch wanting the ball to come to them. And they can’t wait to get in the batters box and that’s what it takes … playing every play like it’s your last one.”

Up next for the 2-1 Marlins is a 4 p.m. game at home Monday against the Ruckel Rams of Niceville.