The Coral Shores Hurricanes duke it out on the diamond with True North Classical Academy on March 10. The Hurricanes put forth a strong effort in a game that was expected to have a wider margin, falling 6-1. Photos by JOY SMITH/Keys Weekly.

On March 7, Coral Shores traveled to Marathon to play the only matchup between two Keys teams scheduled this season. The result was a win for the Hurricanes and the first blemish on Marathon’s season record. 

Coral Shores racked up 12 hits in the game. Leadoff hitter Andrew Putetti went 4-5, including two doubles. Campbell Lavoie and Zeke Myers each had a pair of hits and Riley O’Berry, Dylan Bloom, Donovan Thiery and Steel Mientkiewicz each had a hit in their offensive onslaught. Three ’Canes combined on the mound for the win, including Grayden Ross, who went five innings, and MacIntyre and Tate Brumbalow, who covered one inning each. Marathon managed six hits in the game, led by Ryan Yablon with two, Dylan Ziels with a double and base hits from Dylan Globe, Mason Thornton and Gabe Leal. 

Coral Shores evened up their record on Mar. 10 following a 6-1 loss to True North Classical Academy. The ’Canes managed three base hits in the game off the bats of Mientkiewicz, Myers and O’Berry, scoring one run in the non-district matchup. The 3-3 Hurricanes are winning when it counts the most, though, remaining undefeated in district play.

Following their tough loss to district and Keys rival Coral Shores, Marathon hoped to salvage their week with a win against conference rival Palmer Trinity. It wasn’t in the cards for the Fins, though, as Palmer bested Marathon 8-0 on March 10. The Dolphins tallied three base hits, one each from Ryan Yablon, Tommy Norris and Dylan Ziels. 

Pitching duties for the Fins were split between Ziels, who went for 5 ⅓ innings against the Falcons, and Bryan Broche. The pair faced a team that averages nearly 10 hits per game, with its first six batters all carrying batting averages over .400. Marathon will face the Falcons again in April for a chance to balance the series.

It didn’t take long for the Key West Conchs to reestablish the winning machine after a pair of losses to West Broward. On March 10, Key West stacked up 12 hits against the Yellow Jackets of Bartow, who traveled nearly seven hours to meet the Conchs on the diamond. 

When they arrived, they faced Andrew Barroso and Felix Ong, who teamed up to pitch a no-hitter, walking just one batter each. Senior Jack Haggard had the magic bat Friday night, going 3-4 at the plate and driving home two for the Conchs. Wyatt Kuhn and Andrew Lariz each had a pair of hits, with the rest of them coming from Caden Pichardo, Anden Rady, Jose Perdigon, Matthew Greenberg and Gabe Williams. Rady made it to first four times after being hit by a pitch and walking twice. 

One night later, the Yellow Jackets did some regrouping, narrowing the score, yet the result was still the same. Key West added another win at Rex Weech field, defeating Bartow 2-1. In Saturday’s outing, Greenberg had two base hits and the Conchs added one each from Haggard, Pichardo, Kuhn, Williams and Noah Burnham. Burnham started on the mound, facing 19 batters over five innings pitched. Lariz combined with Marlin Takovich to close the game. The Conchs protected home plate until the sixth inning, when Bartow scored their lone run. Key West will be busy over spring break with a pair of home games on March 17 and 18 against True North Classical Academy and a tournament

Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.