Suspect defense and an injury to No. 1 starter Kyle Pierce added up to a 9-1 Marathon High School baseball loss at Palmer Trinity School in Miami on Thursday.
Pierce was cruising along against the District 16-3A and South Florida Baseball Conference rival Falcons, allowing just one walk and striking out four over 4.1 innings. But Dolphins coach Luis Leal said Pierce had a minor spasm in his lower back and was pulled from the game.
"He was looking really good until he had the spasm and we pulled him out," Leal said. "There's no win out there that's more important than somebody's health."
Marathon broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning when Kevin McKeon scored on a Carlos O'Farrill double. McKeon led the inning off with a single and reached second on a sacrifice bunt.
Pierce faced the first batter in the bottom of the fifth inning, but left in favor of Frankie Gonzalez. "Frankie did fine, but we made a bunch of errors again that just killed us," Leal said.
Palmer scored three times in the fifth and tacked on another six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away for the win.
McKeon had two singles, while O'Farrill, Pierce, Raymond Crespo and Mark Keller each had one.