Rockets stumbling into district tournament

Thursday, May 2, 2019
Brett Burnham comes up with the go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning, but it didn’t hold up in a 6-4 loss to Page at Chapel Hill Monday night.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Rockets’ performance over the last two weeks has not been up to par with only one win in six games.

The Rockets tied one and lost four, including a sloppy 6-4 loss to Page Monday night at Chapel Hill.

Forrest before they open up District 12-AA Tournament play on Friday at Nolensville at 4:30 p.m.

“You have to play complete ballgames and we have to cut some little mistakes out, but they are correctable,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “We have Friday starting up district tournament and we have a big game tomorrow with Moore County and then we will have two days to practice, so no doubt in my mind we can get those things fixed.”

Forrest takes on the winner of Thursday night’s first-round game between (3) Giles County and (6) Community.

If they want to advance, the Rockets can’t do what they did versus the Patriots on Monday as they wasted the basses loaded three times, leaving nine runners stranded and on two of the occasions, Forrest came away with zero runs.

The Rockets were also sloppy in the field as they made four errors in the contest, wasting some pretty good pitching, especially by freshman starting pitcher Kain Moses who tossed four solid innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out seven and walking one Patriot batter.

Freshman Kain Moses turned in a solid performance versus Page, tossing four innings and giving up just one earned run.

“Kain had good command and he did his job,” Joyce said. “He kept us in the game, he threw strikes, and did everything he could do.”

Ethan Mealer got some work in before the tournament with two shutout innings and Cannon Cervantes picked up the loss as he pitched the seventh inning when Page took over thanks to three unearned runs.

The Rockets outhit Page 9-7 with Grayson Whaley, Cervantes, Cody Sisk, and Gauge Anderson all coming up with two hits apiece while Brett Burnham went 1-for-3.

Page starting pitcher Jude Barcus retired all six Forrest batters he faced in two innings of work to start the game and the Patriots left the bases loaded without scoring off of Moses in the second inning before pushing across an unearned in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead.

The Rockets left the sacks juiced without scoring in the bottom of the frame and in the top of the fourth, Nick Hurd slammed a leadoff home run to give the Pats a 2-0 edge.

Forrest rallied with two outs in the bottom of the fourth with Spence Oliver drawing a base on balls before Cervantes singled to put Rocket runners on the corners.

Gauge Anderson lines an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Sisk, Anderson, and Burnham followed with back-to-back-to-back RBI singles and Forrest had a 3-2 lead.

Max Kirby walked to re-juice the sacks, but a fly ball out spoiled a chance of a big breakout inning.

Mealer issued his lone base on balls of the game with one down in the top of the fifth, but the Rockets turned a pretty 6-4-3 inning ending double play.

Forrest did not plate any runs in the bottom of the inning and Mealer gave up a one-out single to Hurd in the top of the sixth, but once again the Chapel Hill defense came up big with a 1-4-3 double bubble, sending the game to the bottom of the sixth.

Cervantes walked to lead off the inning and Sisk singled to left field.

After a lineout and a fly out, Kirby walked to load the bases, but it was not to be as a fly ball to center ending the scoring chance.

Carson Powell doubled to lead off the top of the seventh for the Patriots and after a Cervantes strikeout, Dylan Chambers walked and Eston Snider was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Cade Walker followed with the game-tying single and Chambers scooted home with the go-ahead run on a passed ball.

Ronnie Caricofe came up and hit a little pop-up up the first base line and the Rockets misplayed the ball and two runs scored to put the Patriots up 6-4.

Cody Sisk executes a perfect sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the third inning.

Whaley drilled a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh and came home on back-to-back wild pitches to make it 6-4, but that was all the Rockets could muster in the two-run loss.

“We’ve got to get some more runs, we left a lot of guys on base tonight,” Joyce said. “We will work on that and I’m sure the boys will respond.”

Page 001 100 4-6 7 0

Forrest 000 300 1-4 9 4

Page: Nick Hurd 2-for-3, Andrew Sullivan 1-for-4, Eston Snider 1-for-3, Cade Walker 1-for-2, Hunter Lillard 1-for-3, Ethan Kefauver 1-for-3.

BB: Dylan Chambers 2, Walker.

RS: Chambers 2, Snider, Walker, Hurd, Til Cheshire.

2B: Kefauver, Snider.

HR: Hurd.

RBI: Christian Tidmore, Hurd, Walker.

SF: Tidmore.

ROE: Tidmore, Ronnie Caricofe, Snider.

FC: Hurd.

HBP: Snider, Walker.

GIDP: Tidmore, Lillard.

Totals

Team LOB: 6

WP: Carson Powell.

Forrest: Grayson Whaley 2-for-4, Cannon Cervantes 2-for-3, Cody Sisk 2-for-2, Gauge Anderson 2-for-3, Brett Burnham 1-for-3.

BB: Max Kirby 2, Burnham, Spence Oliver, Cervantes.

RS: Whaley, Oliver, Cervantes, Sisk.

2B: Whaley.

RBI: Sisk, Anderson, Burnham.

SAC: Sisk.

FC: Blaize Sweeney.

CS: Devon Aydelot.

Totals

Team LOB: 9

Fielding

E: Whaley, Sweeney, Kain Moses, Kirby.

DP: Ethan Mealer, Burnham.

LP: Cannon Cervantes (1IP, 2H, 4R, 1ER, 2K, 1BB).

Starting Pitcher: Kain Moses (4IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 7K, 1BB).

Relief: Ethan Mealer (2IP, 1H, 0R, 2K, 1BB).