Rockets Roll into Championship Finals
After opening their first State Tournament appearance by knocking off Lookout Valley 6-0, the Rockets set their sites on Huntingdon and unleashed their offensive weapons to roll into the Class A State Championship game.
Ben Skelley held the Mustangs of Huntingdon to a single run in seven innings of work on the mound allowing 6 hits and 2 walks with 9 strikeouts.
The Rockets set the tone quickly with 3 homeruns in the bottom of the first inning starting with a solo shot from leadoff batter Jeremy Lamb. One out later, Peyton Pratt sent one deep before Daniel Albarran singled. With the runner on, Mikie Minor smashed one out to give the Rockets a quick 4-0 lead. They added two more runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to advance in the tournament with an 8-1 win.
Huntingdon came out of the loser's bracket to face the Rockets again but the outcome was no better as the Rockets pounded the Mustangs 12-0. Andy Burkett gave up no runs in 6 innings on the mound and gave up only 5 hits and no walks with 2 strikeouts.
The Rockets, on the other hand, belted 12 hits including 2 homeruns from Minor and another from Lamb to give them the State Tournament record for homeruns with three each. Lamb also doubled in the contest along with Clayton Joyce and Daniel Albarran to put the Rockets in the State Championship final against the Rebels of McKenzie.
A large crowd of Forrest faithful filled Reese Smith Field on Friday morning at MTSU to watch the Rockets play in their first ever State Championship game. It was as good as baseball gets in the matchup between the Rockets and ace Mikie Minor versus McKenzie and their ace Drew Hayes.
The Rockets went down in order in the top of the first and Minor was on his way to doing the same to the Rebels when his pitch grazed Hayes and sent him to first. He would not stay there long as Minor used his patented pickoff move to catch Hayes at first and send the game into the second inning.
A strange balk call against Minor put a runner in scoring position for McKenzie in the second but a strikeout from Minor kept it a scoreless contest heading into the fourth.
The Rockets committed two errors in the Rebel half of the fourth and McKenzie made them count with a pair of singles from Jonathan Wheat and a 2RBI single from Justin Wilson. The two runs would stand though the Rockets would threaten in the fifth and the seventh.
In the fifth, Minor drew a walk and Ryan Blake came out to courtesy run as he has all season long. Blake Arceneaux put down a great sac bunt to send Blake to second as Josh Haman reached on a pop up single in the infield. A passed ball advanced both runners to put the tying run in scoring position. But, with two outs, the Rockets could not get the break they needed and trailed 2-0 heading into the seventh.
In their final at bat, Daniel Albarran led it off with a single and his brother, Kristian, came in to courtesy run. Arceneaux reached on a fielder's choice getting Albarran out at second but he soon stole second to put a runner in scoring position. Haman drew a walk to put the tying run aboard again but once again the Rockets failed to capitalize and the 2006 Class A State Championship went to the Rebels of McKenzie.
Rockets State Tournament Stats
Rockets vs Lookout Valley (Game One)
At Riverdale High School May 23, 2006
At the Plate -- J. Lamb 3-4, HR, 2b; D. Albarran 3-4, 2b; M. Minor 2-3, P. Pratt 1-3
|On the Mound -- M. Minor (WP)||6I||1H||1BB||10K|
Rockets vs Huntingdon (Game Two)
At Riverdale High School May 24, 2006
At the Plate -- P. Pratt 2-3, 2HR; M. Minor 1-2, HR; J. Lamb 1-4, HR; B. Arceneaux 1-2; C. Joyce 1-3; D. Albarran 1-3;
|On the Mound -- B. Skelley (WP)||7I||6H||2BB||9K|
Rockets vs Huntingdon (Game Three)
At Riverdale High School May 25, 2006
At the Plate -- M. Minor 3-4, 2HR; J. Lamb 2-3, HR, 2b; C. Joyce 2-4, 2b; D. Albarran 2-4, 2b; J. Haman 2-3; P. Pratt 1-4
|On the Mound -- A. Burkett (WP)||6I||5H||0BB||2K|
Rockets vs McKenzie (Game Four -- State Championship)
At Reese Smith Field - MTSU May 26, 2006
At the Plate -- J. Haman 1-2; C. Joyce 1-3; D. Albarran 1-3
|On the Mound -- M. Minor (LP)||6I||3H||0BB||8K|