Horvath hurls, hits Rockets to victory
Forrest freshman Zach Horvath, who pitched back-to-back no-hitters in middle school last season, did some more double dipping Thursday night for the Rockets versus Columbia Academy, pitching six innings of four-hit ball and bashing the go-ahead homerun in the third inning, leading his team to a 9-2 win.
"I couldn't really find the strike zone there for a little bit," said Horvath after the game. "They were popping it up every time and my fielders just helped me. I couldn't ask for much more."
The Bulldogs had ten fly ball or pop-up outs in the contest.
Horvath (2-4, 2B, HR, 3 runs, 1RBI) got some help from his buddies at the top of the Forrest batting order as the first four hitters went 7-14 with five extra base hits, 8 runs scored and 5 RBI's.
Cody Dowler had a productive day in the number two spot, going 2-3 with a walk and 3 runs scored.
Zach Brewer, batting in the three hole was 2-4 with 2 runs scored and two RBI's and Leland Brothers did his job in the clean-up spot, going 1-3 with a sac fly and 2 ribbies.
Paten Pruitt also went 1-3 with a base on balls and 1 RBI.
Dane Leonard had an RBI on a sacrifice fly and Casey Franklin nailed a run scoring double.
Horvath got the first two batters out in the game before allowing a double to Zach Earl and a base on balls to William Horne.
Horvath got out of the inning on a nice grab at second base by Jake Burkett for the final out.
The Rockets came up with two first inning runs on consecutive doubles by Dowler, Brewer, and Brothers.
There was no scoring in the second inning.
Columbia Academy got their only two runs (unearned) of the game in the third on some shaky fielding by the Rockets to tie the game at 2.
Horvath unknotted the contest quickly, leading off the home half of the third with a long homerun over the right field fence, giving the Rockets the lead for good.
Forrest added another run in the frame on a sacrifice fly by Brothers that scored Dowler.
The Bulldogs went down 1-2-3 in the top of fourth and Forrest tallied four more runs on just two hits in the bottom of the inning.
The rallying spark was a one out ground rule double by Franklin, who battled for eight pitches before slamming a one-hopper over the left field fence.
The Rockets were helped along thanks to four Bulldog errors in the frame.
In the top of the fifth, Cole Chumbley bashed a leadoff ground-rule double for CA before Horvath got out of the jam on a fly to right and a 4-6 line drive double play that ended the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Forrest tallied their last run as Horvath led off with a ground-rule double to straight center and came across home plate one batter later on an RBI single by Brewer.
Cody Richardson came in from the bullpen in relief of Horvath in the seventh and made easy work of the Bulldogs to secure the win for Forrest (13-5-1, 7-3).
The Rockets travel to Mt. Pleasant tonight and then have a home and home series with MTCS on Monday and Tuesday.
Forrest's last two district games are another home and home series with Eagleville on May 1 and 3.
Horvath said, "We just want to come through the regular season and get to the district tournament. That's our main goal is the district tournament."
Cascade (16-9, 9-1) still maintains a two-game lead over Forrest and Huntland (6-10-1, 5-3) in District 9-A with Eagleville (13-11-1, 6-4) one game behind the Rockets and the Hornets.
MTCS (12-12, 5-5) is in fifth, Community (10-12, 3-7) and Moore County (8-9, 3-7) are tied for sixth and FC Boyd is in last with a winless record.