- March 19, 2019
Flagler Palm Coast baseball coach Kyle Marsh is familiar with New Smyrna Beach righthander Mattox Meeks from the Orlando Scorpions Baseball Club’s summer program.
So, Marsh, who coaches with the Scorpions in the summer, knew what to expect when Meeks faced the Bulldogs on Friday, March 3, at FPC. A lot of curveballs.
Meeks kept the Bulldogs off-balance all night, striking out 11 batters in six innings on the way to an 8-0 New Smyrna Beach victory.
“I was able to control the zone with my curveball,” Meeks said. “My curveball is always my best pitch. I get a lot of strikeouts with it.”
The junior allowed five hits and one walk to lower his earned run average to 0.95.
“He had good tempo on the mound,” Marsh said. “All of his pitches were working.”
But FPC’s first-year head coach thought his team was too complacent for the second game in a row. After beating University 6-5 in nine innings on Feb. 28, the Bulldogs lost home games on consecutive nights to DeLand (10-2 on March 2) and New Smyrna.
Little things matter. We’ve got to attack. We’ve got to be aggressive at the plate. We’ve got to compete. Every game is big for us. — KYLE MARSH, FPC baseball coach
“Little things matter,” Marsh said. “We’ve got to attack. We’ve got to be aggressive at the plate. We’ve got to compete. Every game is big for us.”
Marsh said FPC starter Brayden Stuart threw the ball well. The senior did not allow a hit through the first two innings. After the first batter of the game reached on an error, Stuart fired a pickoff throw to first and the Bulldogs got the runner out in a rundown.
Stuart had a 1-2-3 second inning with the help of a diving catch by left fielder Connor May. But the Barracudas scored two runs each in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
FPC freshman Caysen Nobles pitched the final two innings for his first varsity appearance on the mound. Nobles struck out four batters and allowed two runs, including a leadoff home run in the seventh by Landyn Abernethy.
The Bulldogs were missing first baseman/designated hitter Dalton Schell, who was competing at the state wrestling tournament.
FPC got back in the win column on Monday, March 6, with an 8-3 win at Seabreeze to improve to 4-3. After trailing the Sandcrabs 3-2, the Bulldogs scored six runs in the top of the seventh to put the game away.
FPC was scheduled to face the Sandcrabs at home on March 8 and then host city rival Matanzas on Friday, March 10.