Rockets split twin bill with Bobcats
The Forrest Rockets hosted Giles County Wednesday night in a doubleheader to put some clarity at the top of the District 11-AA standings as the regular season winds down and seeding’s for the district tournament wash out.
Forrest needed a sweep to capture one of the top three seeds and after a 6-1 win in game one, Bobcat senior hurler and Columbia State Community College signee Blade Matthews shut down the Chapel Hill bats via a one-hit shutout.
“I’m telling you, it’s been like this all year, you know in this district it just seems like there are a lot of really good even teams,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “In the first game we got it done at the plate, we hit the ball well, got the ball in play, got some runs across and in the second game we just could not get that done.”
Dustin Brashear tossed a complete game for the Rockets in the first contest, giving up one unearned run on three hits, while striking out three and walking one Bobcat hitter.
“Brashear did a great job, he has been on on the mound all year,” Joyce said. “He did his job and kept us in the ballgame and he had some big defensive plays behind him.”
Forrest banged out 11 hits versus the Bobcats in game one with Ryan Moses, Grayson Whaley, and Dylan Eady all coming up with two hits apiece.
Jaylen Smith, J.T. Ferguson, Brashear, Ethan Mealer, and Blaize Sweeney all had one base knock in the game.
Brashear set down the Bobcats 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning and only faced four batters in the second inning as he got some help defensively, especially by right fielder Blaize Sweeney, who turned in several spectacular catches that robbed base hits from the Bobcats.
“Blaize Sweeney had three or four big plays on big catches on line drives and the diving catch and basically all the defense playing behind him (Brashear) getting the job done for him there and I’m sure he appreciates that,” Joyce said.
The Rockets got on the board in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single by Jaylen Smith and could have had more as they left the bases loaded.
Brashear gave up his first hit to Bryce Gibson with two outs in the top of the third inning before Drew Daughrity made a nice running catch in left field for the third out.
Ferguson led off the home half of the inning with a base hit and after a fly out, Moses and Mealer banged back-to-back hits that scored Ferguson, making it 2-0.
Whaley made it 3-0 on a sacrifice fly RBI that scored Devon Aydelot, who had come in to run for Moses.
With two down in the top of the fourth inning, Sweeney struck again as he gunned down Ben Peoples at second base as he tried to stretch a single in to a double.
Forrest did not score in the bottom of the inning and Matthews doubled to the left field fence to start the top of the fifth inning.
Matthews came around to score on a Forrest throwing error and Sweeney ran down a ball in the right field corner for the third out.
In the home half of the frame Brashear singled with one out and Mealer was hit by a pitch with two outs, setting the stage for a big two-run single by Whaley that gave the Rockets plenty of breathing room and a 5-1 lead.
Brashear did not allow another baserunner the rest of the way and the Rockets came up with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth inning for the 6-1 final.
Mathews dominated on the mound in game two as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Brashear broke up the no-no with a clean single to center field with one out.
The Rockets only had three baserunners in the game off Matthews as Brashear was hit by a Matthews pitch in the second inning and Sweeney reached on a base on balls in the sixth.
The Bobcats scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning and added two more on a two-run single by Dylan Carmon in the third to make it 3-0.
Giles County completed the scoring in the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI double by Miguel Hayes, who also stole home for the fifth run on a rundown play.
“That was a great team win in the first game, getting the job done at the plate manufacturing runs,” Joyce said. “That was a good hitting ball team over there, they got the hits in the second game and we just fell short.”
The Rockets are the fourth seed and will host Murfreesboro Central Magnet on Thursday, May 3 in the first round of the District 11-AA Tournament that will be held at the site of the higher seed throughout.
Forrest has four non-conference tune-ups remaining as they travel to Coffee County tonight to play the Red Raiders (11-12) and Eagleville (18-6) in a twin bill, host Page for senior night on Monday at 5 p.m., before finishing up the regular season slate at Harpeth (4-21) on Tuesday.
“We just have to keep going like we are going, keep practicing and keep going,” Joyce said. “We are going to get some good work, see some good pitching and get some reps in before we start in the tournament full stride.”
Giles County 000 010 0-1 3 3
Forrest 012 021 X-6 11 1
Giles County: Bryce Gibson 1-for-3, Ben Peoples 1-for-3, Blade Matthews.
BB: Max Jett.
2B: Matthews, Peoples.
SAC: Miguel Hayes.
Team LOB: 2
E: Peoples 2, Hayes.
DP: Gibson, Sam Hatfield.
LP: Tucker Duke (6IP, 11H, 6R, 4ER, 6K, 0BB).
Forrest: Ryan Moses 2-for-3, Grayson Whaley 2-for-2, Dylan Eady 2-for-3, Jaylen Smith 1-for-4, J.T. Ferguson 1-for-4, Dustin Brashear 1-for-3, Ethan Mealer 1-for-2, Blaize Sweeney 1-for-3.
RS: Smith, Ferguson, Moses Mealer, Devon Aydelot, Gauge Anderson.
RBI: Whaley 3, Smith, Mealer.
FC: Smith 2.
GIDP: Drew Daughrity.
Team LOB: 6
WP: Dustin Brashear (7IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 3K, 1BB).
Forrest 000 000 0-0 1 1
Giles County 102 200 X-5 7 0
Forrest: Dustin Brashear 1-for-2.
BB: Blaize Sweeney.
SAC: Ryan Moses.
FC: Dylan Eady.
Team LOB: 3
LP: Grayson Whaley (2IP, 2H, 3R, 2ER, 2K, 1BB), Ethan Mealer (1.2IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 4BB), Dylan Eady (2.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 4K, 1BB).
Giles County: Dylan Carmon 2-for-4, Bryce Gibson 1-for-1, Mack Young 1-for-1, Miguel Hayes 1-for-2, Sam Hatfield 1-for-3, Seth Waters 1-for-2.
RS: Hayes 2, Gibson, Hatfield, Waters.
BB: Young 2, Max Jett 2, Peoples, Hayes.
RBI: Carmen 2, Hayes.
SAC: Young, Waters.
SB: Hayes, Ross Toone.
Team LOB: 8
WP: Blade Matthews (6IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 10K, 1BB).
District 11-AA Standings
Nolensville (16-12, 7-3)
Giles County (15-7-1, 6-3-1)
Marshall County (15-7, 6-4)
Forrest (14-11, 5-5)
Murfreesboro Central Magnet (16-14, 5-5)
Community (14-15-1, 0-9-1)