KEY WEST CONCH BASEBALL BEATS MARATHON DOLPHINS

Key West’s Wyatt Kuhn sends this one out of the park for a home run.

By Caroline Smith

Over the weekend the Key West Conchs squared off against the West Broward Bobcats. It was a losing battle for the Conchs. On Friday night, the Conchs were no-hit and shut out 2-0 by the Bobcats. Andris Barroso was on the mound for the Conchs, giving up only three hits and one earned run. The second run came from a collection of errors made by Key West. 

Saturday night started with a bang for the Bobcats when the Conchs gave up a home run to the leadoff batter. The Conchs’ bats came back after Barroso hit a line drive triple to left field, scoring two runs to put Key West on top. But it was all downhill from there. The Conchs’ pitching struggled in the fourth inning, with the Bobcats scoring 8 runs, 6 of which were walked home. Key West went through four pitchers in seven innings, giving up a total of 7 hits and 14 walks with 5 strikeouts. The Conchs were able to manage 5 hits and 4 runs during the contest, including 2 hits from Preston Herce and 3 runs batted in from Barroso.

Things turned around on Tuesday night as Key West faced its Keys rival, the Marathon

Photos by BARRY GAUKEL/Keys Weekly More game photos available at shadypalmphotography.com.

Dolphins. Marathon began the game by scoring one run off a collection of hits. That’s where the Dolphins’ dominance ended. In the bottom of the second inning, the Conchs’ bats came alive scoring them eight runs, which was just the beginning for Key West. The first run for the Conchs came on a fielder’s choice, scoring Wyatt Kuhn. Key West scored three more runs after Trevor Zuelch doubled, scoring Barroso, Noah Burnham and Herce. Zuelch went on to score on a line drive double from Kai Smith. The Conchs didn’t slow down, as the next at-bat came to Kuhn, who hit a deep home run to straightaway centerfield, scoring Smith. The Conchs were ahead 8-1 going into the third inning. Key West did minimal damage in the bottom of the third as Noah Burnham doubled, scoring Jose Perdigon. The Conchs picked it back up in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring an additional nine runs. The majority of runs in the inning came on hard-hit singles from Sam Holland, Perdigon, Herce and Smith, as well as a double from Jack Haggard, scoring two runs. The Conchs’ bats were healthy and put the game out of reach for the Dolphins as they defeated them 18-1 in five innings. Key West banged out 15 hits including multiple hits from Noah Burnham, Herce, Smith, Anden Rady, Holland, and Perdigon. The 18 runs came on 17 runs batted in, including Zuelch leading the way with four.

Felix Ong started on the mound for the Conchs. He pounded the strike zone, throwing a total of

47 pitches, 40 of which were for strikes. He allowed the lone run on three hits and totaled eight strikeouts over four innings pitched. Haggard came in to close out the game in the top of the fifth. He struck out two of the three batters he faced after Noah Burnham caught a Dolphin stealing second to end the game.

Caroline Smith is a junior at Key West High School and a varsity softball player.

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