Willis Jacobson & J.W. Cooke's - "Prep Sports Notebook"
Monday, March 26, 2012
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Dolphins give good teams too many chances

The Marathon High baseball team dropped thee of five games during its spring break trip to Orlando with two of those losses coming to top teams in the state.

"We gave really good teams way too many chances to capitalize and they did," said Marathon coach Luis Leal. "We never gave up but we played from behind almost every game. The big thing for us was giving up the big inning. We gave up five runs in one inning against St. Cloud, six runs in the second inning against Windemere, and five runs in the 4th inning against First Academy. I truly feel we could have beaten all of these teams if we play the way we normally play, we just couldn't help ourselves on the field."

The Dolphins lost the week opener, 8-4, to St. Cloud, a top 7A team, and followed with an 11-9 loss to Windemere Prep, a final four team a year ago.

Marathon picked things up against Orlando Christian Prep with a 10-0 victory and won by forfeit against Celebration High, which ended up with 8 players. The Dolphins closed out the week with a 10-4 loss to First Academy.

For the week, Carlos O'Farrill had the big bat going 9-for-17, with a pair of doubles, four triples, two stolen bases, scoring four times while driving in nine RBI. Ian Almodovar was 3-for-9 walking five times, stroking two doubles, three RBI and extended his team and county lead with seven more stolen bases. Yoniel Esquirol was 7-for-15 with a triple, three stolen bases and five RBI.

"The top of the line up carried us again," said Leal. "We played poorly on defense and pitching struggled a little. You can see we gave up lots of runs to minimal hits.

"Offensively we hit the ball hard, but just right at them," he added. "The other teams also played very well defensively and made several key plays including diving plays and double plays. We saw high quality pitching in every game and we hit well against them which was a positive."

Against St. Cloud, O'Farrill was 4-for-4 at the plate, but Joey Gonzalez could not hold on the mound giving up six runs in four innings of work.

Windemere got the best of Drew Thornbrugh in the second game pounding out 10 runs on seven hits and six walks. O'Farrill and Esquirol each had a pair of hits in the game, but it was Almodovar that without a hit but with four walks that picked up four runs and four stolen bases, which sparked the team.

Kyle Pierce earned the Dolphins' first win on the week tossing a complete game shut out, 10-0, over Orlando Christian Prep, striking out six and giving up only three hits in five innings of work.

Esquirol had three hits and two RBI, O'Farrill had two more hits and three RBI, Almodovar doubled for two RBI, Thornbrugh as 2-for-4 and Sean Roussin (run) and Kevin McKeon (RBI) were each 1-for-1.

Defense failed Gonzalez in the next game as First Academy scored four unearned runs against the Dolphins' ace in the loss. O'Farrill tripled and drove in a run, Esquirol had a two-RBI single and Almodovar singled and stole a base.

• • •

St. Brendan lost at Gulliver Prep, 8-3, last Tuesday and plays its next District 16-4A game at 4 p.m., Tuesday, in Miami against Coral Shores before facing Key West at 4 p.m., Thursday. That leaves the district standings with St. Brendan on top at 3-1, Gulliver at 3-2 followed by Key West at 2-2 and Coral Shores at 0-3.

The Conchs will need to win the Thursday game at St. Brendan and at Coral Shores on April 13 to pull into a possible three-way tie for first. Otherwise, if Gulliver again defeats Coral Shores on April 11 in Miami, the Raiders and Conchs will meet in the first round of the district playoffs, while Coral Shores faces the Sabres in the playoffs that begin at 4 p.m., April 24, at Founders Park.

The winners of the first day's games advance to the state playoffs after playing for the district championship at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 26.

Despite losing a pair of games on its spring break trip to the St. Petersburg area, Key West coach Miguel Menendez remained optimistic that the Conchs (4-11) are on the right track. "We just need to improve on some things; we'll be all right," he said.

Key West returns to Rex Weech Field for a 7:30 p.m., Saturday, game against District 7-2A Sunrise Christian of Lakeland. The following Friday and Saturday evenings, the Conchs face the District 2-6A Big Green Indians from Choctawhatchee High School of Fort Walton Beach at 7:30 p.m. each night.

• • •

The Marathon High softball team changed things up in the batting order over the Spring Break trip and after positive results the Lady 'Fins look to have their postseason lineup set, according to coach Bob Roney. Abi Connell will move from the No. 2 hole to the leadoff spot, and former leadoff hitter Savannah Rodamer, who has multiple home runs this season with move to the cleanup role. Jordan Roney will move from the clean up to the No. 2 spot to set the table for Marathon's leading hitter Taylor Konrath. Sasha Olivera and Amanda Bruin will followi to round out the heart of the Dolphins' order.

"I think this lineup the way we tweaked it will help us a bit," said Roney. "It gives us 1-2-3-4 with hitting and speed which will step up well for our 5-6-7 who put the ball in play."