Rocket's pillage Vikings in mid-day tilt
The Forrest Rockets have been as cold as the weather in the mid-south the month of April, losing seven out their last eight games. The sun came out on Monday afternoon as temperatures reached more spring like levels and the Rocket's took in the warmth and bloomed just at the right time versus Community as they banged out eleven hits en-route to a convincing 8-2 victory.
Brian Whitley, senior center fielder and team leader went 3-4 in the ballgame with two RBI's and said, "We really needed that ballgame, it is a District win and gets us off the losing streak."
The Rockets had the entire high school student body as spectators in the 1:00 pm start and the support seemed to spur them on to the big victory. Starting pitcher Andy Burkett fired up his teammates early as he battled through a first inning that saw the Rockets make two errors in the field to load the bases before Burkett got out of the jam with a huge strikeout.
Rockets take early lead
Forrest used Burkett's momentum to score two runs in the bottom of the frame with one out as Chase Beaulieu reached on an error, Whitley singled to left and after a Rocket strikeout; Colin Henson laced a single to left field to make 2-0.
Burkett was strong in the second, allowing a two out hit that was erased when Catcher Kristian Albarran gunned down Dustin White trying to steal second.
The Rockets stayed red-hot with the bats as they struck for three more runs in the bottom of the second. "Dickie" Arceneaux legged out an infield single to lead off the inning, sliding head first into first base. Burkett followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second. After two fielder's choices, the Rockets ignited with an RBI single by Beaulieu to make it 3-0 and then Whitley hit a shot into the left field gap to score two more runners and give Burkett a five-zip lead.
The Vikings got one back on an unearned run in the third when Cody Pierce singled and scored on some bad throws by Rocket defenders to make it 5-1.
"We made some bad errors, "Whitley said after the game, "but we made up for them with some hot sticks. The Rockets made a total of six errors in the contest.
Viking starter Jacob Cowell settled down a bit in the bottom of the third as he set the Rockets down in order.
Burkett struck out two of the four batters he faced in the fourth to keep up his strong performance.
Davis hits first
homerun of season
Cowell seemed like he was going to breeze through the bottom of the fourth until he made a huge to Jacob Davis that he planted over the right field fence for his first homerun of the year.
"It was a first pitch fastball, inside and up, right in my powerhouse and drove through the ball and I knew it was gone when I hit it," Davis said.
Davis' shot made it 6-1and Burkett got out of another jam caused by some poor fielding by the Rockets when Colin Henson alertly caught a Viking runner in no man's land between second and third base on a grounder deep in the hole, thwarting the threat.
The Rockets squeezed out two more insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth when Henson led off with a walk, stole second, and scored on another RBI hit by Arceneaux. After an error by Community that put runners first and third, designated hitter Kyle Griffey drove home the final Rocket run on an unusual 8-4 fielder's choice.
performance on mound
Community made a run Burkett in the sixth as Cowell led off with a single, went to second on a balk, and scored on an RBI single to right by Chris Edmundson. Burkett then made a great move to first and Arceneaux put the tag on Edmundson for the pick-off to end the threat.
The Rockets went down in order in the bottom of the sixth and then Burkett finished the job as struck out the final two Viking hitters to seal the victory for the Rockets.