Forrest comeback halts Raiders
The Forrest Rockets finished off a perfect 4-0 weekend as co-hosts of the Rocket/Tiger Classic with a big 7-5 comeback win over Spring Hill on a frigid Saturday night in Chapel Hill.
"When you play in these kind of conditions it's hard to stay pretty, whether you are Jennifer Anniston or the Forrest Rockets," said Forrest head coach Chris Parker. "We were able to fight through it and scratch it out and that is tournament baseball and I am proud of the guys' effort."
Spring Hill banged out 13 hits in the contest, but it was the Rockets, who had seven hits that prevailed, thanks to a clutch three-run bottom of the sixth and a shut the door save by Jacob Daughrity in the seventh inning.
The Raiders scored two runs in the first inning on an a Forrest error and a Zach Harrison RBI single that gave the Raiders the lead, but the Rockets cut the margin half in the home half of the inning on an RBI fielder's choice by Landon Jones.
There was no scoring in the second inning and the game moved to the third where Spring Hill scored one before the Rockets took their first lead in the bottom of the stanza when they plated three runs as Alex Brewer and Tanner Garvin banged RBI doubles and Logan Hollingsworth knocked one run in with a fielder's choice.
The Raiders came right back to re-knot the contest at 4-4 in the top of the fourth, via an RBI double by Harrison.
The Rockets squandered a bases loaded one-out chance in the bottom of the inning and the Raiders could not score with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth as Ryan Byrd came in from the bullpen to put out the fire.
The game went to the top of the six still tied at five and with two outs, Darien Prewitt laced a triple to right field before trotting home on a Josh Frantz base hit.
The damage could have been worse for Forrest, but a Hollingsworth throw from right field to home plate to cut off a run ended the inning with the Raiders up by one run at 5-4.
The comeback kids did it again in the bottom of the inning as Daughrity doubled to left field to start the rally and ended up on third base after an errant throw.
Back-to-back walks by Brewer and Jones loaded the sacks full of Rockets, before Garvin hit a towering fly ball to right field and Daughrity scored the tying run on the tag up at third.
Alertly, Brewer went to third on the play and Cain Harrison, who came in to run for Jones, also tagged up and went to second.
Hollingsworth grounded a ball that was misplayed by the Spring Hill third baseman and Brewer easily score the go-ahead run from third base, making it 6-5.
Harrison electrified the freezing Forrest faithful even more when he stole home on the next pitch, giving the Rockets a 7-5 lead.
Daughrity came to the hill in the seventh and surrendered a two-out walk before he recorded a game-ending strikeout.
"We were fortunate to go 4-0 this weekend and we are playing pretty good ball, but I know coach Tipps is going to have the (Huntland) Hornets ready on Monday and Tuesday, so we have to a be little bit more ready to fight and give everything we got," said Parker. "We do all this stuff to prepare for these district games, we take them one at a time and hopefully, it will pay off for us."
Daughrity (3-4, 3RS, SB) had three hits in the game, while Brewer (2-3, 2RS, RBI, BB, SB) had a pair of base hits.
Garvin (1-2, 2RBIs, BB) and Hollingsworth (1-4, RS, 3SB) had one hit apiece for Forrest (10-5, 4-0).
Garvin went four and two third innings in the start for the Rockets, while Byrd picked up the win and Daughrity recorded the save.