EAST LAKE — Keegan Maronpot walked to the plate with the bases loaded in the first inning Wednesday. When the ball sailed into the right-centerfield stands, Maronpot, an East Lake junior, carefully circled the bases, as though he wanted to enjoy every stride of a grand slam that helped produce a 6-4 victory over Seminole in a battle of unbeaten teams in Pinellas County.
“That was not just my first grand slam, it was my first home run in high school,” Maronpot said. “So, yeah, it was pretty special, especially coming against a team like this.”
The homer was part of a five-run first inning for the Eagles (5-0), who sent nine batters up. It continued East Lake’s early-season trend of showing off some power in its lineup, something lacking the past few seasons.
“The way we’re hitting the ball, we have a lot of options on offense,” coach Dan Genna said. “We’re getting big innings, and this team probably has the most confidence this early in the season of any I’ve had here.”
East Lake added a run in the third to go ahead 6-0.
The Warhawks (4-1) also have a potent offense, and they showed off their power in the fourth inning when Nick Nolan hit a three-run homer to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Cameron Churchill pitched five innings for the Eagles before giving way to Brad Deppermann. In the sixth inning, he had to get out of a jam with the bases loaded and no outs.
Deppermann struck out the next two batters and induced a fly out to centerfield for the final out of the inning.
“Cameron really hit his spots, and Deppermann gave us what we needed in relief,” Genna said. “To get out of that bases-loaded jam was huge.”
Seminole added another run in the seventh on a home run by Corey Baptist but could not get any closer.
Nolan went 2-for-3 to lead the Warhawks. Deppermann and Hodges each had three hits and Doug Rovello had two for East Lake.
But no hit was bigger than Maronpot’s in the first inning.
“We thought we matched up well in this game and just wanted to get off to a good start,” Maronpot said. “This is a really good hitting team, 1 through 9.”