Rockets march on as district champs

Friday, April 28, 2017
Jonathan Lykins picked up the win over Huntland on Monday as the Rockets beat the Hornets 3-2 to clinch the District 9A regular season title for the fourth season in a row.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets wrapped up their fourth consecutive District 9A regular season title with back-to-back wins over Huntland Monday and Tuesday.

“We are really proud of the players, but winning the season district is just the first step and the guys are focused and ready to go the second, which is the district tournament,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “But, we are really proud of what they have accomplished thus far in the season. This is a big accomplishment for the program.”

The Rockets scratched out a big 3-2 win at Huntland on Monday as Jonathan Lykins picked up the win on the mound with six solid innings of work before Jordan Jent came on for the save.

“Monday was a really tight pitchers battle game with Huntland as both pitchers were throwing well,” Joyce said. “Lykins continues to come up big on the mound with that senior leadership and Jent has been huge for coming in late in games closing things out.”

Forrest trailed 2-0 before coming up with all three of its runs in the bottom of the sixth inning that started with a walk to Jaylen Smith.

Jacob Jones has been on a hot streak at the plate as the Rockets get ready for the upcoming District 9A Tournament next week.

Jacob Jones knocked in Smith with a triple and JT Ferguson tied it with an RBI base hit before Ethan Mealer drove home the go-ahead run.

“I’m really proud of these guys coming through at the plate when we needed it,” Joyce said.

Forrest played at Cascade last night and travels to Columbia Central tonight before finishing up the regular season next week with a game at Page on Monday and Senior Night at Chapel Hill on Tuesday versus Cascade.

“We've got some key non-district games coming up,” Joyce said. “These are key games for us to get ready for the tournament which starts late next week.”

The Rockets will host the entire District 9A as the number-one seed and Joyce talked about his team’s outlook as the tournament approaches.

“Our team has several strengths playing in our favor, we have been playing really well late in games even when it’s close and were down,” Joyce said. “The guys just stick to our game and they don't get away from what we do best.”

“These guys definitely want to keep playing throughout the month of May, but we're just taking one game at a time at the moment.”

Tuesday, April 25

Huntland 100 000 4-5 6 1

Forrest 100 302 X-6 9 3

Forrest: Ethan Mealer 2-for-4, Jacob Jones 2-for-3, JT Ferguson 1-for-2, Luke Cunningham 1-for-1, Dustin Brashear 1-for-4, Jonathan Lykins 1-for-3, Dylan Eady 1-for-3

2B: Mealer, Brashear, Ferguson

RBI: Ferguson 2, Lykins, Eady, Mealer

BB: Ferguson 2, Lucas Welch, Lykins, Jaylen Smith

RS: Ferguson, Cunningham, Welch, Brett Burnham, Smith, Jones

SF: Eady

ROE: Mealer

FC: Welch, Brashear

SB: Ferguson

E: Lykins 2, Jones

WP: Ethan Mealer (6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 7K, 2BB)

Save: Jordan Jent (1IP, 2H, 3R, 0ER, 1K, 0BB)

Monday, April 24 at Huntland

Forrest 000 003 0-3 4 3

Huntland 000 020 0-2 8 1

Forrest: Jacob Jones 2-for-3, JT Ferguson 1-for-4, Ethan Mealer 1-for-3

3B: Jones

RBI: Jones, Mealer, Ferguson

BB: Jonathan Lykins, Jaylen Smith

RS: Luke Cunningham, Smith, Jones

ROE: Dustin Brashear

FC: Cunningham, Blaize Sweeney

E: Michael Dyer 2, Mealer

WP: Jonathan Lykins (6IP, 7H, 2R, 1ER, 8K, 0BB)

Save: Jordan Jent (1IP, 1H, 0R, 0Err, 1K, 1BB)

Thursday, April 20

Page 000 000 0-0 3 5

Forrest 005 200 X-7 5 0

Forrest: Dustin Brashear 2-for-4, Jaylen Smith 2-for-2, Jacob Jones 1-for-2

2B: Dustin Brashear 2

RBI: Ethan Mealer 2, Brashear, Jonathan Lykins,

SF: Mealer

ROE: Lykins, Cunningham, Brashear, JT Ferguson

HBP: Cunningham

CI: Jaylen Smith

SB: Ferguson

WP: Ethan Mealer (5IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 6K, 0BB), Jonathan Lykins (2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 5K, 1BB)

Wednesday, April 19

Summertown 000 000 0-0 5 1

Forrest 130 000 X-4 11 2

Forrest: Jonathan Lykins 3-for-3, Dustin Brashear 2-for-4, JT Ferguson 1-for-4, Luke Cunningham 1-for-4, Ethan Mealer 1-for-3, Blaize Sweeney 1-for-3, Jaylen Smith 1-for-3, Jacob Jones 1-for-2

2B: Brashear

RBI: Lykins 2, Cunningham, Brashear

RS: Ferguson, Cunningham, Brashear, Smith

ROE: Ferguson

FC: Ferguson

HBP: Jones

GIDP: Cunningham

E: Smith, Cunningham

WP: Jordan Jent (7IP, 5H, 0R, 0Er, 4K, 1BB)