Perfect night for Rockets
Garvin no-hits NCS; Forrest takes 5-A crown
It was all fun and games in Chapel Hill Wednesday night as the Forrest Rockets (21-8), hosted the Nashville Christian School Eagles in the Region 5-A championship game.
The fun was a no-hitter by senior Tanner Garvin and a 6-0 win that earned Forrest a state sectional game at Chapel Hill Friday night versus county rival Cornersville, who lost 10-0 at home to Summertown.
Totally on target
"It's like Coach (Andy) Burkett said, it makes coach's job very easy when the pitcher hits every spot just about and is dead on, like he was tonight," said Forrest coach Bart Joyce.
The Rockets, who have now won 10 out of their last 11 games, are still unblemished in postseason play.
Forrest was looking to start things off fast, and that is exactly what it did as Ryan Yelensky led off the bottom of the first inning with an infield hit.
Three batters later, with Yelensky and Austin Welty in scoring position, Boone Sweeney came to the plate looking to keep up his hot hitting during the postseason.
Sweeney hit a ground ball to the Eagles' shortstop Zell Walker and was thrown out at first, but Yelensky came in to score on the play, giving Sweeney his 13th RBI of the postseason.
Jonathan Lykins followed with a line-drive hit to left field, bringing in Welty to make it a 2-0 game.
In the third inning, Garvin heated up on the mound with six strikeouts in a row, making the third and fourth innings, three-up and three-down situations.
Garvin struck out 11 and walked just one batter.
Welty led off the home side of the third inning for the Rockets with a bunt single, and Alex Brewer followed with a base hit.
Sweeney was back for more as he continued his RBI surge this postseason, this time driving in Welty.
"I just have been trying to stay calm, try to not get caught up in the game too much, just mainly trying to do what the team needs," said Sweeney.
Two batters later, Garvin came to the plate and banged an RBI single, bringing in Brewer to score.
The Rockets added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings for the six-run shutout win.
This will mark the third year in a row that the Rockets have played in the sectional round.
When asked if the game plan would vary any moving forward, Coach Joyce's response was short and confident:
"We're going to try and stay on the ball, keep pitching the way it has been, and hopefully come out of here with a win."
The same scenario took place in 2013 when Cornersville ace David Looney shut down the Rockets in a 4-1 win at Chapel Hill that sent the Bulldogs to their first state tournament appearance in school history
Tonight's schedule has the Rockets facing the Bulldogs at 7 p.m.
Nashville Christian School 000 000 0-0 0 3
Forrest 202 110 x--6 11 2
Forrest: Austin Welty 2-for-4, Boone Sweeney 2-for-4, Slayton Wild 2-for-3, Ryan Yelensky 2-for-4, Landen Jones 1-for-3, Jonathon Lykins 1-for-2, Tanner Garvin 1-for-3.
RBI: Sweeney 2, Jones 1, Lykins 1, Garvin 1.
WP: Tanner Garvin
LP: Chris Neilson