Rockets fall to Eagleville
After a close 3-1 loss in Eagleville Monday night, the Forrest Rockets looked for redemption Tuesday in Chapel Hill, but it was not to be as the Eagles prevailed 11-5.
"That was a big home run when we left that ball up and that kid knocked that out and it got us down a little bit and kind of got them stirred up," said FHS head coach Babe Hardison. "I told the kids that happens in baseball, I hope it happens our way next time, but that happens in baseball."
Forrest has now lost seven out of the last ten match-ups versus Eagleville after a dominating 16-1 winning record over the Eagles, dating back to April of 2002.
FHS starter Zach Horvath pitched a scoreless top of the first inning before the Rockets posted the game's first run when Horvath was beaned by a Jake McDougal pitch with one out, setting up a Zach Brewer RBI double into the right center field gap that scored Horvath from first base.
Both starting hurlers remained in control on the mound until the top of the fourth when back-to back singles by David Morton and Matt Warner, followed by a base on balls to McDougal loaded the sacks with no outs.
Taylor Fitzgerald was on the good end of a 3-1 count when he belted a grand slam home run over the left field fence to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead.
Horvath got out of the inning with no further damage, but McDougal set down Forrest 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame.
Eagleville posted an unearned run in the top of the fifth off Damien Lee, who came to the hill in relief of Horvath to start the inning.
Ryan Daughrity doubled to lead off the home half of the inning and pinch hitter Blake Leonard walked one out later.
After a Rocket strikeout, Austin Harber drove Daughrity home with a single to right, making it a 5-2 ballgame, entering inning number six.
Eagleville tacked on four more unearned runs in the frame to make it 9-2.
Forrest had a throwing error in the inning and a missed tag at first base that led to RBI hits from Cam Boyett, Bryan Smith, and McDougal.
The Rockets got one tally back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Jacob Daughrity, but left two runners stranded with two outs.
A two-run double by Smith gave the Eagles an 11-3 lead, entering the last inning.
Bryan Hammonds came to the hill in relief of McDougal in the bottom of the seventh and Brewer made it an 11-5 contest when he drilled a two-run dinger, but the Rockets (1-6, 0-2) could not muster the full comeback and fell to the Eagles (3-1, 2-0) by the six-run margin.
"We have been working on stepping in there and being ready to play," said Hardison. "When the ball is hit to you and when you come to bat with runners on base, we have been really trying to work on knowing what we need to do and going and doing it. We are getting better at doing that, we are not great at it yet, but we will be."
Forrest managed just seven hits in the game with Brewer going 2-3 with three RBIs and one run scored.
Jacob Daughrity also went 2-3 with a run scored and Paten Pruitt, Ryan Daughrity, and Harber (BB, one run scored, RBI) all had one base hit apiece.
The Eagles banged out 13 base hits in the contest.