Forrest opens 9-A tourney with 11-1 win
After earning a bye in the first round of the District 9-A Tournament, the Forrest Rockets (17-8) took to the field on Saturday afternoon against the Community Vikings for a round two match-up and came away with an 11-1 run-rule win.
Community eliminated the Rockets last season in the district tournament and it may not have showed on the player's faces, but last year's loss was looming in the back of some of their heads as they stepped onto the field Saturday.
"Last year, they came up in this game and beat us and put us in the loser's bracket and it was tough to come back from," said Forrest coach Bart Joyce.
The Rockets displayed some great offense in their opening game of the tournament, banging out 11 hits in the contest. "We came out swinging, we were ready for this game", said Logan Hollingsworth.
With the win, Forrest advanced to Tuesday night's winner's bracket final versus Middle Tennessee Christian School (MTCS).
When asked if he thought the hitting would continue against MTCS, Forrest catcher Boone Sweeney sounded confident, saying, "Definitely, as long as we play like we did today, I have no doubt."
Wasting no time
The Rockets did not wait long before getting on the scoreboard as Ryan Yelensky led off the bottom of the first by drawing a walk from Community starting pitcher Jared Maupin.
Austin Welty came to the plate and laid a nicely placed bunt that Maupin fielded, but threw wildly to first base, scoring Yelensky.
Welty ended up on third base after the error and two batters later, Boone Sweeney came to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to bring Welty in to score.
Hollingsworth got the Rockets back on bases in the second inning with a line drive to center field for a single.
Slayton Wild worked a walk which advanced Courtesy runner Jaylon Smith to second. Yelensky was back at the plate and this time he launched a ball perfectly in to left field, which brought in Smith and Wild, making the score 5-0 after two innings of play.
Boone Sweeney reached on an error and Dylan Pendley subbed in to courtesy run for Sweeney before Tanner Garvin dropped a base hit to center field.
Hollingsworth doubled to the outfield, but Pendley could not beat the throw home and was tagged out.
Landen Jones picked up his teammate with a two-run single, making it 7-0.
Yelensky and Welty both hit singles to start off the bottom of the fourth.
Alex Brewer worked Maupin into a full count before smacking an RBI double to center field.
After leading off last inning with a single, Sweeney was back for more, this time homering far over the left field fence, bringing in Brewer with him and advancing the Rockets lead to 11-0. "We came out aggressive, did what we had to do", said Sweeney. "We scored runs and came out here and won this ballgame."
Hollingsworth went through the first three innings without hardly a mishaps, but during the top of the fourth, Community loaded the bases, but came back with two strikeouts to end the inning.
In the fifth inning, the Vikings were looking at getting the mercy rule invoked on them if they did not get any runs on the scoreboard.
Sweeney got the first out that the Rockets were looking for by catching a pop fly behind home plate.
Kyle Davidson hit a line drive to center field for a base hit and eventually scored on a base hit by Ryan Fears.
It was not enough for the Vikings though, as the Rockets defense held strong and got the last two outs to end the game.
"MTCS is a great team. They were the first team that we played after I took the head coaching job," said Forrest coach Bart Joyce after the game. "They're a good, solid ball club."
"Nothing too fancy, but they know how to get the job done like they did today against Eagleville. We'll have to hit with them and pitch with them and make the plays, if we can do all of that, we'll be fine."
Community 00001-- 1 5 1
Forrest 2324----11 11 2
Community: Kyle Davidson 2-for-3, Jared Maupin 2-for-3, Ryan Fears 1-for-2.
Forrest: Ryan Yelensky 2-for-2, Austin Welty 2-for-3, Boone Sweeney 2-for-2, Logan Hollingsworth 2-for-3, Alex Brewer 1-for-3, Tanner Garvin 1-for-3, Landen Jones 1-for-2.
WP: Logan Hollingsworth (6-2)
LP: Jared Maupin