Venice 4, Palmetto 0
Venice pitcher Orion Kerkering allowed two runners to reach base in the first inning on an error and a single, but that’s just about all he would surrender to Palmetto on Thursday night.
Over the next four innings, Kerkering would strike out eight batters and allow just one more batter to reach base — on a walk — as he cruised through the Tigers lineup in Venice’s 4-0 win at Palmetto High School
“Kerkering overpowers a lot of teams,” Venice coach Craig Faulkner said.
“He throws in the 90s and he’s got his hammer. He struggled a little bit early, but when he gets it on, he is dealing. I think at one point we struck out eight guys in a row between Kerkering and the sidearm guys.
“We have tough pitching. Our goal is to be really strong defensively and to dominate on the mound.”
Following two straight days of cancelled games due to impending rain, Venice (1-0) finally opened its season against Palmetto on Thursday in typical Indians fashion.
Using a run in the first inning off a sacrifice fly from Mac Guscette and a run off a sacrifice bunt from Ryan Marti in the fourth inning to build a lead.
After wearing down the Palmetto pitching staff, Venice broke through for a three-hit seventh inning in which it added two more runs to its lead.
However, the insurance runs would hardly be necessary as sidearm relievers Jacob Faulkner and Clay Callan came on to throw perfect innings — striking out the side in the sixth and seventh innings.
With the win, the Indians will make a quick turnaround as they travel up to play Cardinal Mooney today at 4 p.m.
Lemon Bay girls 5, Bayshore 2
The Lady Mantas moved to 3-1 on the year after their win over Bayshore (2-3).
In singles, Lemon Bay’s Jordan Shirley won 6-1, 6-4, Marie L’Abbe won 2-6, 6-4 (10-8), and Elizabeth Schum won 6-0, 6-1.
The teams split the doubles matches with the Lemon Bay duo of Shirley and L’Abbe winning 8-2.
Lemon Bay plays next at Charlotte on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Lemon Bay boys 6, Bayshore 1
The Mantas got a decisive win to move to 4-0 on the young season.
In singles, Josjua Hutcherson won 6-2, 6-2 and Matthew Hutcherson won 6-0, 6-1. The rest of Lemon Bay’s points came via forfeit.
Lemon Bay will play next at Charlotte on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Lemon Bay 10 , Southeast 0 (5 inn.)
The Lady Mantas (3-1) got the perfect mix of pitching and offense in a shutout over Southeast.
Starting with the pitching, freshman Ella Kraszewski pitched a complete game, allowing just one hit and a walk with eight strikeouts to earn the win.
The Lady Mantas drove in two runs on back-to-back at plate appearances in the first inning. Christain Chandler drove in Leanna Kelly from third on a single and Karlie Sweiderk drove in another with a single.
The Mantas piled on four more runs in the third inning. Sweiderk drove in another, followed by an RBI double by Kraszewski and an RBI single from Sarah Hamsher. Hamsher later scored on an error to make it 6-0.
Getting RBIs were Grossenbacher (2), Chandler (2), Sweiderk (2), Kraszewski (1) and Hamsher (1).
Fort Myers 13, Port Charlotte 5
Brooke Ollerenshaw scored three goals and an assist for the Lady Pirates. Shaelyn Taylor scored two. The Lady Pirates play again on Monday against Cape Coral.