Rockets sweep County Border Battle

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Forrest head coach Chris Parker gets the Rockets ready to play ball Saturday night versus Perry County at the County Border battle in Chapel Hill. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets continued their torrid streak over the weekend, beating Collinwood, Huntington, and Perry County to complete the sweep of the County Border Battle in Chapel Hill.

The Rockets came into the tournament on a high note, winning nine out of their last 10 ballgames and they needed some late game heroics versus Collinwood on Friday to keep the hot streak alive.

Trailing 3-2, entering the bottom of the seventh, Rocket starting pitcher Tanner Garvin reached on a Collinwood error and Austin Harber followed with a bunt that put Forrest runners on the corners.

Harber stole second base before Kennedy Mathis drove home both of his teammates with a walk off single to center to secure the win.

Garvin picked up the complete game victory on the hill for the Rockets, giving up six hits, while striking out 11, walking three and hitting one Trojan batter.

Mathis ended up with two hits in four at bats in the game and stole two bases, while Harber also had two hits, scored a run, walked once and swiped two bags.

Logan Hollingsworth (1-4), Landon Jones (1-3, BB), Alex Brewer (1-2, RS, BB, 2B, HBP), Garvin (1-3, RS, BB, 2B, SB) and Austin Welty (1-2) all had one base knock apiece in the contest.

On Saturday morning, the Rockets took on Huntington and trailed the Mustangs 1-0 early before coming up with two runs in the bottom of the second.

Forrest starting pitcher Alex Brewer held Huntington in check, and in the bottom of the fourth, the Rockets tacked on four runs as Hollingsworth and Brewer both had RBI base hits in the frame.

Brewer set down the Mustangs 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth before the Rockets squandered a bases loaded no outs opportunity in the home half of the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Brewer got a little wild, walking two Huntington batters and the Rockets committed a couple of errors in the field as the Mustangs scored two runs to cut the lead in half at 6-3.

Brewer belted a one-out homerun in the bottom of the inning, Cain Harrison scored on a passed ball and Welty stuck in the dagger when he drew a bases loaded RBI walk, making it 9-3.

Brewer had little trouble finishing off the Mustangs with two ground ball outs and a game ending strikeout, securing victory number 15 for the Rockets on the season.

Forrest first baseman Logan Hollingsworth (2) puts the tag on Perry County's Randall Scott, who was picked off by Jonathan Lykins in the second inning.

In the tournament finale, Forrest hosted the Perry County Vikings as freshman Jonathan Lykins took the mound in search of his third win on the season and after striking out the side in order in the top of the first, it was Brewer, who gave Lykins a 1-0 lead on an RBI ground rule double.

Landon Jones made it two-zip on an RBI base hit to left that scored Brewer.

Lykins gave up a leadoff single to Randall Scott in the top of the second, but picked Scott off first base before retiring the next two Perry County batters.

Boone Sweeney and Harrison reached on back-back errors leading off the Rockets' second inning and from there, the floodgates opened on the Vikings as Forrest sent 11 batter to the plate and scored seven runs in the inning to take a commanding 9-0 lead.

Austin Harber (6) stands in the box before belting a two-run double in the second inning that gave Forrest a huge 8-0 lead over Perry County.

Jacob Daughrity, Garvin, Landon Jones, and Sweeney all had RBI base hits in the big inning, while Harber knocked in a pair with a two-run double.

Forrest head coach Chris Parker inserted many of his subs after the big inning, but Lykins stayed on the hill and set down Perry County 1-2-3 on two whiffs and nice dig at first base by Bryce Oliver on a throw from third base.

The Vikings came up with an unearned run in the top of the fifth before the Rockets put the game away in the home half of the inning on a Harrison leadoff base hit, a double by Jacob Jones, a sacrifice fly RBI by Oliver and the game ending base hit RBI by Lykins.

Lykins gave up just three hits, walked zero and struck out seven Vikings in the contest to improve to 3-0 on the season.

The Rockets (16-6, 7-1) stroked 11 hits in the contest with Landon Jones (2-3, RS, RBI) and Brewer (2-3, 2RS, two doubles, RBI) both had two hits in the game, while Daughrity (1-2, RS, RBI), Jacob Jones (1-2, RS, 2B), Hollingsworth (1-1, 2RS, BB), Lykins (1-2, RBI), Harber (1-2, RS, 2RBIs, 2B), and Sweeney (1-3) all had one hit each in the game.