Ruckel Rams hammer Destin

Tina Harbuck

Although the Destin Marlins started with a bang, the Ruckel Rams finished strong to post a 15-3 win over the Marlins in middle school baseball Wednesday afternoon in Niceville.

Lead-off batter Jackson Crews got things rolling early for Destin when he ripped the second pitch over the left centerfield fence.

“It was a low fast ball,” Crews said when he got back to the dugout.

Aiden Garrity followed with a walk and scored on a single to left by Jackson Smith for a 2-0 start for the Marlins.

Ruckel answered with one in the bottom half. Trevor Mee singled and scored on a hit by Aidan McCarthy. Destin got out of the inning on a diving catch by centerfielder Crews.

In the next two innings, neither team scored.

In the top of the fourth with one out, Destin’s Benton Henderson, who’s already hit half dozen homers this season, cranked one out of the park for a solo shot.

“It was a high fast ball,” Henderson said, which gave the Marlins a 3-1 lead.

The lead, however didn’t last long. In the bottom of the fourth, the Rams unloaded on the ball for eight hits and eight runs. Jay Marquardt and McCarthy each hit two-run homers. Mee ripped a double for an RBI and Brennan Russell also hit a double.

In the top of the fifth, Destin got a couple of runners on base on a walk and hit batter call, but didn’t score.

Ruckel, on the other hand, continued where they left off and finished up with Jaxon Topel cranking out a three-run homer for a walk off finish.

For the game, Destin had five hits while Ruckel connected for 14.

The Marlins, which finished as No. 2 in the county for the regular season, will take on Pryor in the county tournament on Monday at 4 p.m. in Destin.