Local Sports

Powerless Conchs host Rockledge

Don’t expect a power surge from the Key West High baseball team when it takes on Rockledge at 3 this afternoon at Rex Weech Field.

The Conchs have not hit a home run this season and if they did today, no one would be more surprised than their coach.

“Physically, we’re not strong enough,” said Ralph Henriquez, who, throughout his long career at Key West, has been generously blessed with sluggers.

“We’ve always had strong physical kids who attacked the ball hard,” he said.

Not this season.

Whereas the Conchs, who are 11-9, have pitched and fielded well, the offense has been anemic. Extra-base hits have been a rarity and several players are hitting well below .200.

“There’s nothing I can do. I have to play them,” said Henriquez, who plans to intensify weight-room workouts in the off-season.

Key West has lost five games after either leading or being tied after the fourth inning. “That’s the difference in being 11-9 instead of 16-4,” Henriquez said.

The latest blown lead came last Friday night at home when the Conchs lost to Mater Academy Charter, 9-4. This time, it wasn’t the offense to blame, it was the pitching. The bullpen collapsed.

“We should have won,” Henriquez said. “We were up 4-3 in the fifth and gave up four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh.”

Michael Mayor led the Conchs with three hits, including a double.

After today’s game, the Conchs will host games against nationally ranked Merritt Island Friday and Saturday nights.