Rockets squeeze out district win

Friday, April 29, 2016
Jonathan Lykins picked up the win for the Rockets, tossing six innings in Forrest's 3-1 win over Fayetteville Tuesday night at Chapel Hill. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets, coming off a district title winning victory at Fayetteville on Monday hosted the Tigers on Tuesday and had some celebration rust, barely outlasting the Lincoln County squad 3-1.

"The boys played well last night, we were not at our best but stepped up when needed and got a win," Forrest coach Bart Joyce said.

Mound stars

Jonathan Lykins gave the Rockets what they needed on the mound, tossing six innings of three-hit ball while Forrest struggled at the plate, managing just six hits after a 13-hit attack on Monday.

Lykins gave up zero earned runs, struck out nine and did not walk a Tiger batter.

"Lykins threw an excellent game," Joyce said. "He has really stepped up this season in that pitching role when needed."

Alex Brewer came on in the seventh inning for the save, striking out the side.

"Brewer has been our go to closer all year and he fulfilled that role last night," Joyce stated. "He came in and shut down three for the win."

Forrest scores

After scoreless first inning, Forrest managed an unearned run in the bottom of second and in the bottom of the third inning, Boone Sweeney knocked in Brewer with a double, making it 2-0.

"Sweeney had a great night at the plate," Joyce said "He has really gotten has timing down in the last few games. He was a big help in a low scoring game."

Lykins allowed just one hit over the next three frames, but in the top of the sixth inning, Fayetteville got on the board without a hit as the Rockets gave up a two-out error that made it 2-1.

Bryce Oliver delivers a huge pinch hit RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Forrest a 3-1 lead.

Insurance run

In the bottom of the inning, Lykins led off with a base on balls and Slayton Wild followed with an infield single, putting Rocket runners on the corners.

After a fly out for the first out, Forrest made a base running error for the second out before Bryce Oliver delivered a pinch hit RBI single to center field, giving Lykins and the Rockets a crucial insurance run.

"Oliver came up huge with that pinch hit RBI which gave us some breathing room for the seventh," Joyce said.

Brewer came to the hill for Lykins in the top of the seventh and proceeded to strike out the side to end the game.

More action ahead

Forrest (18-5, 10-0) traveled to Cascade on Thursday and beat the Champions 6-3.

"It feels great to take the district season title," Joyce said. "We still have a long way to go. We have some good momentum going into the tournament coming up next week."

The Rockets finish up their regular season schedule with a whirlwind, playing at MTCS today at 4:15 p.m. before getting back on the yellow bus and coming home to Chapel Hill for a 7:30 p.m. game versus Page tonight.

Forrest will entertain MTCS on Monday with senior night ceremonies beginning at 5:15 p.m. in the regular season finale.

"Like I've mentioned before, we're just taking one task at a time," Joyce reiterated. "Whether that be practice where we're fine tuning our game or that be a game. Were just going into the post-season one task at a time."

Fayetteville 000 001 0-1 3 1

Forrest 011 001 X-3 6 3

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

FC: Will Clark, Kelly

RS: Clark

Forrest: Boone Sweeny 2-for-3, Austin Welty 1-for-2, Landon Jones 1-for-3, Slayton Wild 1-for-3, Bryce Oliver 1-for-1

2B: Sweeney 2

RBI: Oliver, Sweeney

SAC: Welty

BB: Sweeney

SB: Landon Jones, Welty, Alex Brewer

WP: Jonathan Lykins (6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 9K, OBB), Alex Brewer (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 3K, 0BB)

LP: Jeffrie Pettie

Forrest at Cascade

Forrest 024 000 0-6 7 0

Cascade 020 100 0-3 6 2

Forrest: Jacob Jones 2-for-4, Jonathan Lykins 2-for-3, Landon Jones 1-for-4, Slayton Wild 1-for-3, Dustin Brashear 1-for-2

RS: Lykins 2, Landon Jones 1, Kain Harrison 1, Wild 1, Ryan Yelensky 1

2B: Wild, Lykins

HR: Landon Jones

RBI: Dustin Brashear 2, Jacob Jones, Landon Jones, Wild

SAC: Wild

FC: Landon Jones, Boone Sweeney, Ryan Yelensky 2

HBP: Brashear, Lykins

Cascade: Keiron Patton 3-for-3, Seth Gardner 1-for-4, Lane Simpson 1-for-2, Trent Sutton 1-for-3

RS: Simpson 2, Patton 1

2B: Patton

HR: Simpson

RBI: Sutton, Simpson, Cole Tune

SAC: Tune

FC: Shane Keel

HBP: L Simpson, C Melson

SB: K Patton

WP: Jordan Jent (6.1IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 4K, 0BB)

SAVE: Alex Brewer (.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB)

LP: Hayden Edmondson