BY ANDREA BUTLER
Kyle Marsh pitched five shutout innings and struck out 11 batters to lead Spruce Creek past previously unbeaten New Smyrna Beach 6-0 on March 8.
“I didn’t have my stuff the first couple of batters, but I settled down and all my pitches were on. I was cruising from there,” responded Marsh.
“Kyle is probably the most competitive kid that I have ever coached. He has a mean streak in him. The bigger the game the better he pitches,” added Johnny Goodrich, Spruce Creek’s head coach.
It was a big game atmosphere with a full house on a cool night. Spruce Creek honored the military and veterans before the game and they wore camouflage jerseys.
“It was a big game. It’s good to be challenged by a really good and competitive team. We had been complacent lately and this will be good for us,” said Goodrich.
Spruce Creek is the defending Class 8A state champions and New Smyrna made the Class 7A Final Four last season.
Lots of pressure
Joey McKee pitched well for the Barracudas but neither the defense nor offense helped him.
“Joey pitched well enough to keep us in the game. We didn’t handle the pressure defensively. A tough team like that it’s hard to beat when you make mistakes,” commented Nick Regilio New Smyrna’s head coach.
New Smyrna (7-1) threatened in the first inning when Dylan Woods reached on an error and Brandon Amendolare singled but Marsh struck out the next three batters.
“That kid Marsh has a good arm. He kept them in the game and gave them a position to win. We had a chance there, but didn’t get it done,” added Regilio.
Spruce Creek (9-2) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Marsh hit an infield single to score Austin Hayes who reached on an error a few batters earlier.
The Hawks led 4-0 in the fourth behind Chandler Rodriguez’ RBI on a sacrifice bunt, Brandon Wilkes’ sacrifice fly RBI and Casey Bell’s RBI single.
McKee’s one out double in the fourth inning was the only other hit for the Barracudas.
Griffin Fuller and Rodriguez each went 2-for-2 with two RBIs for the Hawks.
Prep Sports Seven Baseball
1. Spruce Creek (9-2), 2. New Smyrna (7-1), 3. Trinity (6-3-1), 4. University (8-3) 5. Flagler Palm Coast (4-3), 6. Mainland (7-3), 7. Father Lopez (7-1), Taylor (8-2). Others: DeLand (5-5), Deltona (4-4-1), Seabreeze (4-5).