Rockets win, clinch district

Monday, April 25, 2016
Senior second baseman Austin Welty had three hits for the Rockets in their 6-3 win over Harpeth Thursday night at Chapel Hill. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

It was a rainy day Thursday and it looked like the Forrest Rockets were a little gloomy too as they captured a 6-3 win over Harpeth at Chapel Hill in a game where they did not play their best, but still did enough to beat the Indians.

"Yeah we didn't play our best Thursday night, but it's always great to get a win," Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. "The boys did what they had to do for the win."

Forrest had just eight hits in the game with a few coming at timely moments in the game, a mark of a solid squad.

Austin Welty had three hits for the Rockets, drove in a run and scored once, while leadoff man Jacob Jones had one hit, walked twice and scored twice.

Pitchers shine

"We had some timely hitting to drive in some runs and put those hits with the pitching effort that Jent and Mealer gave us and it ended up in a good win," Joyce said. "Welty had a huge game at the plate. He was seeing the ball well and did his job at the plate. He along with the rest of the lineup did a great job at getting runs in when needed."

Jordan Jent pitched another strong game for the Rockets, who can clinch the District 9A title with a win over Fayetteville tonight.

What the Rockets did get was a solid pitching performance from Jordan Jent, who tossed six innings, scattering five hits, striking out eight and walking one.

Jent gave up one earned run in his stint that ended in the top of the seventh when freshman Ethan Mealer came on to earn the save, striking out two and walking two in a scoreless inning on the hill.

Hard workers

"Jent and Mealer have worked extremely hard on the mound all season long," Joyce stated. "Both again tonight were on target and pitched well."

Jent surrendered a leadoff base hit to Will Gossett in the top of the first inning before retiring the next three batters in a row.

Forrest scored twice in the bottom of the first inning as Welty banged a base hit to center field and a Harpeth fielding error put Rockets on second and third as Alex Brewer reached on the miscue.

Landon Jones knocked in Welty with a base hit and Brewer scored on a wild pitch.

More runs

Jent set down the Indians 1-2-3 in the top of the second before Forrest tallied two more runs in the bottom of the frame as Slayton Wild and Kain Harrison walked and Luke Cunningham moved both runners up with a bunt before Welty and Brewer each drove home one runner apiece.

The Rockets got sloppy in the top of the third, making two errors that gave the Indians two runs, making it 4-2.

Jent stayed strong, pitching a scoreless fourth and fifth inning before the Rockets added a lone run in the bottom of the fourth on a Boone Sweeney sacrifice fly RBI.

There was no scoring in the fifth inning and in the top of the sixth, Harpeth scored one run on a fielder's choice RBI by Colin Krimminger to cut the Forrest lead to 5-3.

Senior first baseman Landon Jones takes a pickoff throw attempt from Jordan Jent.

Fighting, grinding

"This group of players will fight and grind to get a win, even were not at our best these guys will play with tremendous effort to get a win," Joyce said.

The Rockets took out some insurance in the bottom of the inning as Jacob Jones and Welty had back-to-back no out hits before Jones came home on a Harpeth miscue, sending the game to the seventh inning where Mealer did the job in relief to secure the win.

"This team is really self-motivated to accomplish future goals and this group of seniors leads our way with having a little post-season success and at the same time feeling that falling a little short in post season play," Joyce added. "This team just keeps those goals in mind and pushes forward with one game at a time."

Title chase

"Winning the season district title would be a great accomplishment and the team is in a good position to accomplish that goal," Joyce said. "This team does a great job at just taking one game at a time. We are not looking ahead."

The Rockets (16-5, 9-0) clinched their third consecutive District 9A regular season title with a 13-1 win at Fayetteville Monday night, giving Forrest home field advantage in the upcoming district tournament.

Harpeth 002 001 0-3 5 2

Forrest 220 101 X-6 6 2

Harpeth: Will Gossett 3-for-4, Adam Lacour 1-for-3, Nathan Bledsoe 1-for-2.

RBI: Preston Smith 1

Forrest: Austin Welty 3-for-4, Jacob Jones 1-for-3, Landon Jones 1-for-2, Jonathan Lykins 1-for-3.

RBI: Landon Jones, Boone Sweeney, Welty, Alex Brewer

SAC: Luke Cunningham

SF: Boone Sweeney

FC: Austin Welty

SB: Jacob Jones

RS: Jacob Jones 2, Welty 1, Brewer 1, Slayton Wild 1, Kain Harrison 1

WP: Jordan Jent (6IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, 8K, 1BB)

Save: Ethan Mealer (1IP, 0H, 0R, 2K, 2BB)

LP: Carson Gensert

Monday, April 25

Forrest 331 024-13 12 0

Fayetteville 001 000-1 5 7

Forrest: Jonathan Lykins 3-for-4, Jacob Jones 2-for-3, Dustin Brashear 2-for-2, Alex Brewer 1-for-3, Landon Jones 1-for-5, Boone Sweeney 1-for-3, Slayton Wild 1-for-3, Ryan Yelensky 1-for-4.

RS: Jacob Jones 3, Austin Welty 1, Landon Jones 1, Brewer 1, Sweeney 1, Michael Dyer 1, Lykins 1, Wild 1, Luke Cunningham 1, Brashear 1, Yelensky 1

2B: Brashear

HR: Sweeney

RBI: Landon Jones 2, Sweeney 2, Brewer 2, Yelensky 2, Brashear 1

SAC: Welty 2

SF: Brewer

FC: Brewer

SB: Jacob Jones 2, Brewer 2, Brashear, Dyer, Landon Jones

Fayetteville: Andrew Kelly 2-for-3, Jacob Pigg 1-for-3, Lex Marsh 1-for-3, Jonathan Pigg 1-for-2

RBI: Jeffrie Pettie

WP: Ryan Yelensky (4.2IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 8K, 0BB), Ethan Mealer (1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 3K, 0BB)