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Caleb Poll’s No-Hitter Powers Gulf Coast HEAT To Victory

Gulf Coast HEAT defeated Port Charlotte’s Community Christian for the second time this week, winning 8-0 Thursday behind Caleb Poll’s no-hitter. Poll, a freshman lefty, tossed his first no-no, striking out 12 and walking none to help the Heat (10-11) win their second in a row. They also defeated Community Christian 15-7 on Tuesday.

“He had a good fastball command and a great curve ball,” Heat Manager Hank Marino said. “He had great command. That was the biggest thing for him tonight.”

Poll, a 14-year-old freshman lefty, has stepped up to develop into the team’s ace down the stretch and is one of their better pitchers, according to Marino. Poll also struck out 12 last Friday in a 6-5 loss to Central Christian, Ohio. Marino said he pitched well last year as an eighth-grader.

“He struggled with location early in the year, but the last two outings he’s been very good,” Marino said.

Poll’s pitching and the team’s solid defense Thursday was complemented by a balanced offensive effort in which nearly every batter got at least a hit. The team had 11 altogether with Matt DiLorenzo, Michael Jensen and Ian Hunniford each connecting for two each. Poll helped himself at the plate, going 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs.

Thursday’s game was an example of how the Heat is doing well as the season wraps up in a few weeks.

“We had good contact, we found the holes and hit the ball hard,” Marino said. “The pitching’s been better, the defense has been better, the hitting’s been better,” Marino said. “Those are all good things.”

Marino said the Heat, which includes just one senior and one junior, is batting close to .300 as a team and has been putting a lot of balls in play. He said he’s pleased with the offensive effort, including the play of Adam Masarik, who had a hit and scored twice Thursday, and is batting around .500.

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