Hornets sting FMS Rockets in grudge match

Friday, March 9, 2012
FMS's Ryan Yelensky (5) hurled five shut-out innings for the Rockets Tuesday versus Huntland, who came back to win 3-2 with a two-run seventh inning. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Last May, the FMS Rockets travelled to Huntland and beat the Hornets 3-1 in the Mid-South Conference championship game to win their third consecutive title, but on Tuesday in Chapel Hill, the Hornets gained a measure of revenge with a come from behind 3-2 win.

"We didn't look at as revenge," said Huntland head coach Sean McClennan. "We looked at as a challenge, Forrest is a good team and we just made the plays when we had to."

It was a pitcher's duel on the 'Hill' with Huntland lefty Kolbe Foster gaining the win as he went the distance, giving up just two hits and one earned run, while striking out 16 Rocket batters in the ballgame.

Ryan Yelensky started on the mound for the Rockets and went five shutout innings before giving way to Landon Jones in the sixth.

Yelensky threw 86 pitches in the contest and struck out 13 Hornet hitters.

There was no scoring for the first three and a half innings before the Rockets broke through with a single tally in the bottom of the fourth as Alex Brewer led off the frame with a base hit before Jones knocked him home with an RBI triple.

Both squads were blanked in the fifth inning, and in the top of the sixth, Huntland knotted the game as Foster led off with a base hit to center and scored two batters later on a Forrest error.

Alex Brewer (9) puts the Rockets in front 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI groundout to first that scored Yelensky.

Yelensky drew a 3-2 base on balls to lead off the home half of the inning, stole second, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on a Brewer RBI groundout to first to put FMS in front 2-1.

In the top of the seventh, Tyler Smith reached on a two-out error by the Rockets.

Foster followed with a base hit to center field, and Cole Tate knocked in both runners with a single to center field, combined with an error on the play at the plate, trying to get Smith at home.

"I was thinking that Tyler (Smith) would score because of the great jump that he got," said McClennan. "That was a great hit by Cole (Tate) and a good play by Foster to score too."

Foster remained strong on the mound for Huntland, striking out the side in order to end the ballgame in the bottom of the seventh.

"That was a great game by both teams and an exciting one to watch," said McClennan.