Rockets snap long losing streak versus Lions
Coming into Wednesday night’s contest at Columbia Central, the Forrest Rockets had lost seven straight games to the Lions dating back to 2002.
The jinx is over thanks to some great pitching and timely hitting by the Rockets that resulted in a 4-2 win.
“It was a great performance,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “It was good team effort, you can’t pick out one play or one pitch or anything like that.”
“It was group effort of seven innings to win that ballgame and that’s what they did, we did some little things tonight to get the job done and I’m proud of the way the team played tonight.”
Forrest senior Dustin Brashear turned in a stellar performance on the mound for the Rockets, tossing five innings of four-hit baseball to pick up the win.
“Brashear did a great job in that starting role throwing strikes and keeping us in the ballgame and keeping us where we needed to be,” Joyce said.
Brashear also went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.
Dylan Eady came on for Brashear in the top of the sixth inning and slammed the door shut on the Lions with two innings of no-hit, shutout ball to pick up the save.
“Eady came in there in that relief role and got the job done,” Joyce added. “Great job by both pitchers tonight being on the plate, being on the plate and getting the job done.”
JT Ferguson, Jaylen Smith (RBI, RS, SB), Grayson Whaley (RS), Ethan Mealer, and Drew Daughrity (RBI, RS) all had one hit for the Rockets.
Jaden Hamm started on the mound for the Lions and cruised through the first two innings before the Rockets scratched across two runs in the top of the third inning.
Daughrity led off inning with a strikeout, but reached first base when Columbia catcher Caden Cameron dropped the third strike and could not find the ball.
Eady laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Daughrity to second and Ferguson followed with a base hit to left field to put Rocket baserunners on the corners.
Smith bounced a ball back to the mound and Hamm threw to second for the force out, but Daughrity raced home from third and slid under the tag to put the Rockets on the board.
Smith proceeded to steal second base and came home on a Brashear single to left field, making it a 2-0 ballgame.
The Lions came right back in the home half of the inning as Bryce Symlar and Luke Flatt banged back-to-back, one-out singles off Brashear before Jackson Cook tied the game when he drove both runners home with a double into the right/center field gap.
Brashear escaped any further damage, setting down the next two batters on a ground ball to Mealer at third and a fly out to Ferguson in center to end the inning.
Blaize Sweeney led off the top of the fourth inning and struck out, but once again Cameron dropped the third strike and his throw to first base was off the mark and Sweeney was safe.
Whaley singled to right field and Mealer followed with a groundout, moving the Forrest runners to second and third base.
Ryan Moses came to the dish and Joyce called the squeeze play that worked to perfection as Moses laid it down and Sweeney scored standing up from third base, making it 3-2.
“That was a great job there by Moses who was called upon to do a task, laying that bunt down on the right side to get that run across,” Joyce said. “We practice that and practice that and you don’t ever know when you are going to use that, but the opportunity presented itself tonight and he did a great job of getting it down.”
Daughrity followed with a single, driving home Whaley with an insurance run to put the Rockets up 4-2.
“These boys are always in the ballgame,” Joyce stated. “We don’t quit, we don’t pack in---we stayed in the ballgame and stayed up and stayed in the game and got us some runs to win the ballgame.”
Jack Quinn reached on a Forrest error to lead off the bottom of the inning before Brashear got a pair of fly outs and the inning ended when Quinn was gunned down by Moses trying to steal second base.
Stanton Bell came in for Hamm in the top of the fifth and gave up a two-out single to Brashear before getting the third out on a fly ball to right field.
Brashear finished up his stint on the mound by tossing a scoreless fifth inning and the Rockets did not score in the top of the sixth or seventh.
Eady came to the hill in the home half of the sixth inning and did a yeoman’s job on the mound, retiring six-out-of-seven batters he faced to pick up the save and secure the win for the 2-0 Rockets.
“It’s a long season, sometimes things fall your way and sometimes things don’t fall your way,” Joyce said. “We want to get better game to game, practice to practice, keep working on the little things and getting better.”
“It’s a great start, the boys are doing a great job and it has showed the last two games and we just want to keep rolling it into tomorrow.”
The Rockets beat Harpeth 12-2 on Thursday and entertain Ezell-Harding on Tuesday.
Forrest 002 200 0-4 7 3
Columbia 002 000 0-2 4 2
Forrest: Dustin Brashear 2-for-3, JT Ferguson 1-for-4, Jaylen Smith 1-for-3, Grayson Whaley 1-for-3, Ethan Mealer 1-for-3, Drew Daughrity 1-for-3.
RBI: Smith, Daughrity, Brashear, Ryan Moses.
RS: Smith, Blaize Sweeney, Whaley, Daughrity.
SAC: Dylan Eady.
Team LOB: 3
E: Smith 3.
WP: Dustin Brashear (5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 4K, 1BB).
Save: Dylan Eady (2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2K, 0BB).
Columbia Central: Jackson Cook 2-for-3, Bryce Symlar 1-for-4, Luke Flatt 1-for-3.
RS: Symlar, Flatt.
RBI: Cook 2.
ROE: Flatt, JJ Kercado, Jack Quinn.
Team LOB: 5
E: Caden Cameron 2.
DP: Taylor Holloway.
LP: Jaden Hamm (4IP, 6H, 4R, 1ER, 5K, 0BB), Stanton Bell (3IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 0BB).