Jent rules mound on Forrest Senior Night
Forrest senior hurler Jordan Jent picked up his fifth win of the season against one loss when he tossed six superb shutout innings of one-hit ball on the mound in an 8-0 win over Cascade on Tuesday’s Senior Night at Chapel Hill.
“It was a big senior night for us and these seniors are a great group of kids and they have worked hard all season and this was their night to shine and they did with the big 8-0 victory,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “It was a great night for them, I’m happy for them, I’m proud of them and we just want to carry this on to the end of the week here.”
All six Forrest seniors were in the lineup for the contest and the mood was upbeat and positive the entire game as the underclassmen cheered them on.
“It was pretty sweet, we have played together for like 13 years and to play one more district game with all those guys was amazing,” Forrest senior Jacob Jones said.
Senior Jones, Jonathan Lykins, Luke Cunningham and Michael Dyer all had one hit apiece in the contest.
“I’m very excited, we ended up the regular season pretty good and got two bigs wins in May,” Jones said. “Coach (Andy) Burkett said in the little huddle we had that what matters most is what happens in May, so now we will make the push towards the district tournament and we feel really confident right now.”
Jent issued his only two walks of the game in the first inning, but worked his way out of the jam before the Rockets scored a run in the home half when Jones led off with a base on balls and advanced to second and third on a pair of groundball outs before scoring on a passed ball.
Jent retired the side in order in the second and third innings and Forrest added another run in the bottom of the third when Brashear led off with a triple and came home on a Lykins sacrifice fly RBI.
Jent remained masterful on the hill and set down the Champions 1-2-3 in the fourth inning.
Forrest also went down in order in the bottom of the inning and Cascade finally got a runner on base via a Forrest error to lead off the fifth inning.
After a Cascade strikeout, the Rockets’ infield turned a sweet, 4-6-3 double play as senior second baseman Dylan Eady scooped up a ground ball and flipped to shortstop Jaylen Smith, who tagged the bag and fired to Brashear at first base for the inning-ending double bubble.
The Rockets put the game away in the home half of the inning, scoring five runs on five hits on RBI hits by Jones and Dyer, plus a back-breaking bases loaded triple by JT Ferguson, who came in as a pinch hitter after leading the cheering squad in the Forrest dugout.
“You can’t keep JT down, he is a good kid and good ballplayer and came in there and busted it wide open, getting that triple down the right field line and got it done for us,” Joyce smiled and said. “Our younger guys backed these seniors all night.”
“They just rooted them on, carried them on, they were up in the dugout and high-fiving and it was just a great team effort tonight to get this win with the seniors leading the way.”
Jent set down the Champs in order in the sixth to preserve the no-hitter, but he gave up a leadoff single to Hayden Sliger in the seventh inning and left the mound to a huge greeting by his teammates and applause by the Forrest fans.
“Jent threw a heck of a game as he has all season,” Joyce said. “He’s been a go-to guy all year and has done great and showed out tonight, going to another level here on senior night and it was a great way to finish up the regular season on the mound and for the team.”
Ethan Mealer came to the hill in relief and proceeded to strike out the side to end the game and pick up his second save of the season as the Rockets finished the regular season with a 19-10-1 record and District 9A regular season champs for the third year in a row.
“Whenever you get to this time I have learned from experience that records don’t matter, records don’t matter,” Joyce said. “It doesn’t matter what you do in the regular season and records don’t matter, so that’s the way we are going to treat it and roll with it.”
The Rockets open up district tournament play tonight at Chapel Hill with the first pitch scheduled for 5p.m. versus the winner of Community and Huntland.
“They are two good teams who will bring their ‘A’ game, but so will we, so no doubt it will be a good tournament,” Joyce added.
Cascade 000 000 0-0 1 2
Forrest 101 060 X-8 6 1
Cascade: Hayden Sliger 1-for-3
ROE: Cole Tune
GIDP: Zach McKamey
E: Hayden Edmondson, Seth Gardner
LP: Matthew Pilkington
Forrest: Jacob Jones 1-for-2, Luke Cunningham 1-for-4, Dustin Brashear 1-for-3, Jonathan Lykins 1-for-2, Michael Dyer 1-for-2, JT Ferguson 1-for-1
3B: Dustin Brashear, JT Ferguson
BB: Lucas Welch 2, Jones, Brashear, Lykins, Ryan Moses, Dyer
RS: Brashear 2, Jones, Cunningham, Brett Burnham, Dyer, Ferguson
RBI: Ferguson 3, Jones 2, Dyer, Lykins
DP: Jaylen Smith, Dylan Eady, Brashear
WP: Jordan Jent (6IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 9K, 2BB), Ethan Mealer (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 3K, 0BB)