The Destin Marlins barreled up on the ball Monday night to pound out 16 hits en route to a 19-2 win over the Baker Gators in the semifinals of the Okaloosa County 1A Middle School Baseball tournament Monday afternoon in Destin.
With the win, the Marlins advance to the championship game at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Meigs Middle School in Shalimar.
In Monday’s game the Marlins didn’t just hit one or two home runs but four. Powering the ball over the fence was Zander Davis with two homers, Alex Kruse and Caleb Reeder.
“Everybody got to hit today … it was a fun day,” said Destin Coach Matthew Cawthon.
The Marlins came out and jumped on the Gators in the first inning batting through the line up one-and-a-half times and putting 11 runs on the board.
“We came out and the bats were alive. We had a lot of aggressive at bats and we hit a lot of hard balls,” Cawthon said.
Braxton Taylor led with a single and scored on a double from Caleb Reeder, who finished the day with five RBIs. Zander Davis reached on an error and Reeder scored. Noah Wright doubled to left and Davis slipped in home. The next batter grounded out and then Gavin Garrity ripped a double to right center for an RBI. Up next, Alex Kruse smacked a homer over the center field fence for two RBIs. Wyatt Wainwright grounded out and then Dylan Matekovich and Taylor hit back-to-back singles. Reeder doubled up the middle to score Matekovich and Taylor. Davis followed with a bomb over the right center field fence for two RBIs. Wright reached on an error and scored on a double from Donovan Monsees before the next batter struck out. Destin led 11-0 at the end of one.
The second inning went quickly with neither team scoring.
In the third, Destin put up eight more runs. Hunter Barber came off the bench and hit a double and Christian Erlich singled for an RBI. Reeder clobbered one over the left field fence for the third home run of the day for the Marlins and three RBIs. Not to be out done, Davis followed with a home run shot that cleared the fence and the bleachers. Wright connected for a double but was left stranded on the base.
Both Reeder and Davis said they hit fast balls. Reeder’s home run count is at five and Davis at six on the season.
Down 19-0, Baker gave it one last try in the top of the fourth. Kurt Armstrong walked and scored on a home run shot by Ethan Williams over the left center field fence. Casey Treadway followed with a hit but never made it around the bases.
For the game, Destin used three pitchers — Taylor, Owen Davis and Matekovich. Taylor threw the first inning and struck out three and gave up no hits or walks. Davis pitched the next two, striking out two and giving up three hits. Matekovich threw to the last batter for a strikeout.
On Friday last week, the Marlins beat Bruner Middle, 6-5.
Destin had 10 hits in the victory with Wright, Zander Davis, Kruse and Taylor all hitting home runs.