Rockets shocked in first 9-A final

Friday, May 13, 2016
Forrest selections to the All-District 9-A from left are, Ryan Yelensky (Co-Pitcher of the Year), Jacob Jones, Jonathan Lykins, Alex Brewer (MVP), Landon Jones, Boone Sweeney, Austin Welty and Coach of the Year Bart Joyce. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets had their first stumble since April 2, losing 4-3 to Eagleville Wednesday night at Forrest in the first of two District 9-A championship games.

The two squads met last night at Chapel Hill for the outright title.

"Our boys fought hard, we took it right down there to the end and just fell short, but we have another game tomorrow," Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. "This group of seniors wants this district title and there is no doubt in my mind these guys will be pumped up and don't need anything, they always just move forward."

First 9-A loss

It was the first loss this season by Forrest to a district opponent and the setback ended a 16-game winning streak for the Rockets.

"That is just tournament ball," Joyce said. "Every team comes to play, coach (Travis) Holland had them ready and they came right at us and I didn't expect anything less."

The once flaming Rocket bats went ice cold versus the Eagles as they managed just three hits in the contest with three-time District 9-A MVP Alex Brewer getting one as did Jonathan Lykins and Landon Jones.

Ryan Yelensky, who was named District 9-A Co-Pitcher of the Year along with Huntland's Kobe Foster had a rough outing on Wednesday, lasting just 2 2/3 innings and was responsible for all four Eagleville runs.

Freshman Ethan Mealer came on in relief and tossed four 1/3 innings of shutout baseball for the Rockets, who lost 4-3 to Eagleville in the first of two District 9-A title games.

Freshman help

Freshman Ethan Mealer came on for Yelensky in the top of the third inning and finished up the remainder of the contest, surrendering one hit, while striking out seven and walking none.

For Eagleville, Austin Wells was superb, shutting down the high-flying Rockets with six innings of one-hit baseball.

Wells gave up one run in the outing before giving way to Ben Williams in the sixth inning, who let the Rockets come back, but just not all the way.

Eagleville's John Fitzgerald jacked a first inning two-run homerun and Wells gave up a second inning run to the Rockets via a sacrifice fly RBI by Bryce Oliver.

Final runs

The Eagles added their final two runs in the top of the third on RBI base hits by Matthew Boyett and Jonah Clement before Mealer shut them down for the remainder of the contest.

Forrest left the bases loaded in the bottom of the third and Wells retired the Rockets in order in the fourth and fifth innings.

Chapel Hill left two more runners on base with one out in the sixth inning, but rallied in the bottom of the seventh when Yelensky and Austin Welty drew back-to-back walks.

A double steal sent the Forrest runners to second and third and Yelensky scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lykins, making it 4-2.

Welty went to third on the throw home and scored on a Brewer infield single before the game ended on a fly ball to left field.

Brewer MVP

Brewer talked about being selected as the district MVP three years in a row, saying, "I have to thank my team for putting me in this situation, just look we had seven people on the all-district team."

"He is a heck of a kid and a heck of a ballplayer and it is well deserving," Joyce said. "Alex has played well all season and continues to show up for us."

Joyce won the District 9-A Coach of the Year award and said about the honor, "It feels great, but I have to give it to the boys who put in the work day in and day out, so it's pretty easy to win that award when you have a great group of guys that do what you ask them to do."

Eagleville 202 000 0-4 5 1

Forrest 010 000 2-3 3 2

Eagleville: Matthew Boyett 2-for-3, Brandon Kelly 1-for-3, John Fitzgerald 1-for-2, Jonah Clement 1-for-3

RS: Kelly 2, Fitzgerald 2

BB: Blake Brewer

HR: Fitzgerald

RBI: Fitzgerald 2, Boyett, Clement

HBP: Fitzgerald

SB: Blake Brewer

Forrest: Jonathan Lykins 1-for-4, Alex Brewer 1-for-4, Landon Jones 1-for-3

2B: Jonathan Lykins

RS: Ryan Yelensky, Austin Welty, Brewer

BB: Brewer 2, Yelensky, Welty, Landon Jones, Boone Sweeney, Slayton Wild

RBI: Bryce Oliver, Lykins, Brewer

SF: Bryce Oliver

FC: Oliver, Sweeney

SB: Welty, Brewer, Yelensky

WP: Austin Wells

LP: Ryan Yelensky (2.2IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 4K, 0BB), Ethan Mealer (4.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 4K, 1BB

Tuesday, May 10

Eagleville 000 011 0-2 9 1

Forrest 101 112 X-6 10 0

Eagleville: Blake Brewer 2-for-3, Brandon Kelly 1-for-4, John Fitzgerald 1-for-3, Matthew Boyett 1-for-3, Austin Wells 1-for-3, Jonah Clement 1-for-3, Jake Bolden 1-for-2, Ethan Cobb 1-for-3

RS: Joyner, Clement

2B: Boyett, Bolden

RBI: Wells, Cobb

SAC: Bolden

FC: Wells

CS: Brewer

Forrest: Alex Brewer 2-for-2, Bryce Oliver 2-for-3, Ryan Yelensky 1-for-3, Austin Welty 1-for-1, Jonathan Lykins 1-for-3, Landon Jones 1-for-4, Boone Sweeney 1-for-3, Slayton Wild 1-for-2

RS: Yelensky 2, Brewer 2, Welty, Wild

BB: Welty 3, Wild 2, Yelensky, Lykins, Brewer, Oliver

2B: Wild, Brewer

RBI: Brewer 3, Sweeney

SF: Sweeney, Brewer

FC: Jacob Jones 3, Landon Jones, Lykins

SB: Wild, Brewer

WP: Jonathan Lykins (5IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0K, 0BB), Jordan Jent (1IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0K, 0BB), Alex Brewer (1IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 3K, 0BB)

LP: Dylan Tapp