Destin Marlins take Mustangs for a ride

Destin's Robbie Leach tries to put down a bunt in the second inning against Shoal River. Leach later unloaded on the ball for a single to right.

Jason Shirley cranked out his fourth homer of the season to lead the Destin Marlins in an 11-3 win over the visiting Shoal River Mustangs in middle school baseball action Wednesday afternoon.

"You hear it, but you don't feel it," Shirley said of the fastball he knocked over the centerfield fence for a three-run shot.

Shirley, an eighth grader, was 3-for-3 at bat for the day with a single, double and the home run. Last week he knocked three out of the park against St. Mary's.

In Wednesday's game, Destin took charge early with two runs in the first inning. Noah Bailey walked and Shirley singled. The next batter walked, then Nick Sherer cracked a single to right for two RBIs.

In the second, the Marlins picked up two more runs. Robbie Leach singled to right and scored on a double deep to center by Matt Boswell. Shirley later doubled to score Boswell for a 4-0 lead.

Destin almost put the game away in the fourth with five runs. Bailey hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI, Shirley brought in three runs on his home-run shot, then Chandler Carlyle slapped a fast ball over the left field fence for a solo home run and a 9-0 advantage.

Shoal River got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth with a two-run homer.

Destin answered in the bottom half with two more runs. Nolan Berry singled and scored. Matt Boswell reached on an error and scored.

The Mustangs scored one last run in the top of the sixth.

Up next for Destin is a 4 p.m. game Monday at home against the Bruner Spartans.