Rockets split with Cascade, stay in district race
The Forrest Rockets (14-7, 7-3) wasted a three-hit, seven strikeout effort by Zach Horvath in a 3-2 loss at Cascade Monday night, before exploding for 15 runs in Chapel Hill Tuesday night versus the Champions to gain a split and remain in the thick of the District 9-A race.
Forrest is tied with Community (13-7, 7-3) for second place, one game back of MTCS (14-5-1, 8-2).
The Rockets travel to Creekwood this weekend to take part in the Good Day to Play Invitational, before next week's crucial home and away series with the Vikings on Monday and Tuesday.
Forrest has split with Moore County, MTCS, and Cascade, while sweeping Fayetteville and Eagleville.
"We play in perhaps the toughest Class-A District in the state," said Forrest head coach Chris Parker. "Sometimes a split is good, especially a win at home; however if we want to have a good seed in tourney and keep a chance to win regular season, we need two sweeps."
On Monday, the Rockets managed just three hits off Cascade's Seth Gardner, including a homerun by Tanner Garvin in the fifth inning.
Alex Brewer had the other two hits for the Rockets and his RBI base hit in the first inning gave Forrest a lead they would hold until the bottom of the third.
The Champions scored twice to go ahead 2-1 in the third until Garvin's homerun tied the contest in the fifth.
Floyd walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth for Cascade, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on a Forrest error to seal the win for Cascade.
"Horvath pitched great and gave us a chance to win," said Parker. "But, our youth on the left side of the infield showed with the mishandling of two slow rollers."
On Tuesday, Forrest came back with red-hot bats, banging out 14 hits in the 11-run, five-inning run-rule win.
The Rockets put the game away early, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first inning, before adding four in the third and four more in the fourth inning.
"Tuesday night, we hit the ball well," said Parker. "I've seen it out of our team before. For my hearts sake, I wish we could hit like that all the time, but its baseball."
There were a slew of players, putting up big numbers in the contest with Austin Harber leading the way, knocking in five runs, including a bases clearing triple in the third inning.
Landon Jones went 3-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs, Horvath had two hits in four at bats, scored three runs scored and added an RBI, Jacob Daughrity went 2-3 with three runs scored and knocked in one, and Brewer had two hits, two runs scored, and two RBIs.
"The boys did answer the bell and drove the ball all night," said Parker. "We have some kids having good years, but more importantly, we are playing well as a team."
Logan Hollingsworth picked up the win on the mound for the Rockets, giving up zero earned runs on nine hits, while striking out one and walking one Cascade batter in four innings of work.
Brewer pitched the final inning for the Rockets.