Summertown spoils Rockets' opener
There are three days as a boy that brought joy to me. The last day of school, the first day of school and opening day of baseball season.
On Monday, the spring prep season opened in Tennessee and at Forrest, the defending Class A state champion Summertown Eagles spoiled the Rockets' fun with a 10-5 win in the first meeting between the two schools since Alex Brewer's dramatic seventh inning homerun at Summertown that ended the Eagles' season two years ago in a sub-state game.
"It's not the way we wanted to start the season," said Forrest coach Bart Joyce. "I told the boys the good thing about baseball is, it's a long season and we get to go over there and play them tomorrow."
Brewer homered again on Monday, but it was not enough as the Eagles led 10-0 after three innings, scoring twice in the opening inning and eight times in the third.
Summertown's Ty Riddle, who had two hits and three RBI in the game, knocked in the first run of the season for the two squads on an RBI fielder's choice and two batters later, Wesley Keaton made it a 2-0 ballgame with an RBI single to center field.
The Eagles busted the game open in the bottom of the third, scoring eight unearned runs in the frame that knocked out Forrest starting pitcher Jonathon Lykins and sent Jordan Jent to the mound at Chapel Hill.
"That is a great ballclub over there, coach (Jason) Burleson has them well-coached and they are a fundamentally sound team," said Joyce. "They just put it in play, throw strikes and make plays and it's all they do and are successful at doing it."
Jent finished the game strong, tossing 4 1/3 innings of three-hit ball.
Meanwhile, Summertown starting pitcher Taylor Landrum cruised through the first three innings before the Rockets woke up in the home half of the fourth inning as Lykins doubled to right field with two outs, driving in Landen Jones, who had three hits in four at bats in the contest.
"We were delayed there in the beginning and sitting back to see what they were going to do before we took an offensive approach and went after them," said Joyce. "On the other side, they went after us, so we have to start out like we kind of ended it."
Forrest added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth with two outs as Austin Welty walked before Brewer smashed a laser over the fence in dead center.
Brewer, a Vanderbilt signee, had two hits, walked once, and scored two runs in the game.
Jent held Summertown scoreless the rest of the way and the Rockets scored their final two runs of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a two-run double by Jones.
Slayton Wild, Lykins, Bryce Oliver and Ryan Yelensky all had one hit apiece for Forrest, while Bryce Giles, Jacob Curtis and Riddle had two base knocks apiece for Summertown, who hosted the Rockets on Tuesday.
"This is a wakeup call for us as a team and a program and hopefully we will respond tomorrow," said Joyce. "I have faith in these kids, I've seen them do it, so we just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings."
Summertown 208 000 0-10
Forrest 000 120 2-5
Summertown: Bryce Giles 2-3, Jacob Curtis 2-4, Ty Riddle 2-4, Bailey Burleson 1-3, Wesley Keaton 1-4, Koltan Houser 1-3, Bradley Huckabee 1-4, Taylor Landrum 1-2.
RBI: Riddle 3, Curtis 2, Houser 2, Keaton 1, Drew Bailey 1, Landrum 1.
Forrest: Landen Jones 3-4, Alex Brewer 2-3, Bryce Oliver 1-3, Slayton Wild 1-4, Jonathon Lykins 1-2, Ryan Yelensky 1-3.
RBI: Brewer 2, Jones 2, Lykins 1.
WP: Taylor Landrum
LP: Jonathon Lykins
Tuesday, March 15
Forrest 000 000 3-2
Summertown 200 000 0-2
Forrest: Landen Jones 2-4, Austin Welty 1-4, Boone Sweeney 1-3.
RBI: Welty 2, L. Jones 1.
Summertown: Jacob Curtis 1-3, Bailey Burleson 1-3, Wesley Keeton 1-2, Bradley Huckabe 1-3.
RBI: Burleson 1, Huckabe 1.
WP: Ryan Yelensky
Save: Alex Brewer
LP: Ty Riddle