A masterful one-hit pitching performance by Kyle Pierce shut down Coral Shores High's lineup as Marathon High School posted a 5-0 victory Thursday in Islamorada.
"I was hitting my spots," the 6-foot-3 junior said. "The pitches were where they need to be."
The Dolphin righthander needed just 76 pitches to log the complete game, striking out nine Hurricanes. He faced 23 hitters and walked none in the South Florida Baseball Conference contest.
"Kyle did a great job mixing his fastball with off-speed pitches," Marathon coach Luis Leal said.
Coral Shores sent its own ace to the mound. Junior Will Goodwin responded with a solid no-run, no-hit effort through three innings, striking out five Dolphins.
Carlos O'Farrill jump-started the Marathon offense with a fourth-inning single, the first hit off Goodwin. O'Farrill, Marathon's shortstop, then stole second and third as the Dolphins took advantage of two walks and a Cane fielding error to score the game's first two runs.
Marathon's Robbie Garcia reached on a bunt to open the fifth and came around to score as the Dolphins used a walk and a single by Jesse DeLuca. With no outs, Coral Shores switched to freshman thrower Jose Lima, who got the Canes out of the jam.
The Dolphins (1-1) pulled away in the top of the seventh, with O'Farrill tagging a two-run single to score Garcia and DeLuca. It took a double play by Coral Shores shortstop Fernando Garcia to end the rally.
Marathon ended the Canes' seventh-inning hopes with a strikeout, pop fly and pickoff play.
Dolphin catcher Kevin McKeon, previously the starting second baseman, "really stepped up" when Marathon needed to find a backstop, Leal said. "He volunteered to move, and did a super job. Kevin called almost all the pitches."
Hurricane catcher Kyle Gates lashed a triple in the third inning for Coral Shores' lone hit.
The Canes dropped to 0-2 after an 11-2 loss to Dade Christian in the season opener Tuesday. Coral Shores outfielder Dalton Falcucci went 3-for-3.
Coral Shores hosts Key Gate Charter at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Founders Park. Marathon is slated to host Ransom Everglades School today at 5:30 p.m.
Dolphins lose opener to Miami Christian
Marathon managed just two hits and surrendered four runs on four passed balls during a 6-2 loss at Miami Christian School on Tuesday.
Starter Richie Wells struggled with control issues early on and the Victors scored three first-inning runs. Marathon answered back with two runs in the fourth inning to make it 3-2, but gave up another three runs during the next two innings.
"We just couldn't get anything going offensively. We're still working on our lineup and getting things to jell," coach Luis Leal said.