Rockets slip past Summit

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Forrest second baseman Caleb Keller tries to throw out Summit's Nick Walker at first after fielding a groundball in the top of the first inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After posting a 2-1 record in pool play, the Forrest Rockets advanced to the finals of their bracket in the single elimination portion of the Columbia/Forrest Classic by beating the Summit Spartans 3-1 on Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill.

The two teams had battled to a 1-1 tie through the first four innings of play before the Rockets plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single by Boone Sweeney and a Logan Hollingsworth RBI fielder's choice to pull out the victory.

Summit actually outhit Forrest 7-4 overall, but left six men on base and had two other runners thrown out on the base paths, which helped snuff out a pair of potential scoring threats.

Forrest third baseman Blake Leonard tags out Summit's Nick Walker in the top of the fifth inning to complete a 1-3-5 double play.

Blake Leonard, Jacob Daughrity, Austin Harber, and Sweeney all had one hit for the Rockets with Leonard and Sweeney driving in one run apiece.

"The kids played hard and we got a big hit in the sixth inning," said Forrest coach Chris Parker. "We're just out here trying to get better. I've only been around them a week, but we've already improved. Hopefully we'll finish strong this summer."

Daughrity also picked up the victory on the mound for the Rockets after pitching two perfect innings of relief. Forrest starting pitcher Tanner Garvin yielded one run on four hits over two innings before Hollingsworth took the hill and allowed three hits in three scoreless innings of work.

Nick Walker tallied three hits to pace Summit at the plate, while Ben Mobley, Austin Johns, and Zach Mather each had one hit. Spartan starting pitcher Karlton Turcois suffered the loss after giving up three runs over five and two-thirds innings on three hits and a walk.

Forrest wasted little time getting on the board and pushed across a run in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. After belting a leadoff double down the left field line, Daughrity advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Keller. Harber was then hit by a pitch before Daughrity raced home on a Leonard sacrifice bunt.

In the top of the second inning, Summit tied the game at 1-1 when Johns scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Ryan after leading off the frame with a single and advancing to third on a double by Mather.

Both teams left men at second base in the fourth inning before the Rockets stranded runners on the corners in the bottom of the fifth.

Forrest, however, finally broke the stalemate in the bottom of the fifth by tallying two runs on two hits and a walk to seize a 3-1 lead. Following a two-out single by Harber, Leonard drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Sweeney then smacked a RBI single into left field to drive in Harber before Leonard scored on a RBI fielder's choice by Hollingsworth.

The Spartans were unable to mount a rally in the top of the seventh, as Daughrity retired Summit in order to close out the Rocket win.