By Caroline Smith

Over the weekend, the Key West Conchs faced off against the West Broward Bobcats. It was a losing battle for the Conques. Friday night, the Conchs were untouched and were shut out 2-0 by the Bobcats. Andris Barroso was on the mound for the Conchs, allowing just three hits and one earned run. Round two came from a collection of mistakes made by Key West.

Saturday night started off with a bang for the Bobcats when the Conchs allowed the first batter a home run. The Conchs bats came back after Barroso hit a line triple to left field, scoring two runs to put Key West in the lead. But it was all downhill from there. The Conchs’ throw struggled in the fourth inning, with the Bobcats scoring 8 runs, 6 of which went 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 managed 5 hits and 4 runs during the contest, including 2 hits from Preston Herce and 3 RBIs from Barroso.

Things turned around Tuesday night as Key West took on Keys rival Marathon

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

Dolphins. Marathon started the game by scoring a run on a hit streak. This is where the Dolphins’ dominance ended. Late in the second inning, the Conchs bats came alive as they scored eight runs, which was just the start for Key West. The Conchs’ first inning came on a defender pick, scoring Wyatt Kuhn. Key West scored three more runs after Trevor Zuelch doubled in, scoring Barroso, Noah Burnham and Herce. Zuelch then scored on a line 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 center field, scoring Smith. The Conchs led 8-1 going into the third inning. Key West did minimal damage late in the third as Noah Burnham doubled in, scoring Jose Perdigon. The Conchs took it back late in the fourth inning, scoring nine more runs. The majority of the innings runs 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 away from the Dolphins who beat them 18-1 in five innings. Key West recorded 15 hits, including several hits by Noah Burnham, Herce, Smith, Anden Rady, Holland and Perdigon. The 18 runs came on 17 RBIs, including Zuelch leading with four.

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

47 throws including 40 for strikes. He allowed the only run on three hits and totaled eight strikeouts in four innings pitched. Haggard came in to close out the game in the top of the fifth. He retired two of the three batters he faced after Noah Burnham caught a Dolphin stealing the second to end the game.

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