Knights claim win over Rockets in D12-AA title game
After gutting out a 5-1 win over Giles County in the loser’s bracket final, the Forrest Rockets ran out of gas in the District 12-AA title game, falling to host Nolensville 9-2.
“The second game didn’t quite turn out like we wanted it to, but the coaching staff is proud of how they fought and how they played,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said.
It was a close 4-2 contest before the Knights broke the game open with a five-run, fifth inning as they cruised to the win behind a solid effort on the mound by Dawson Conder, who scattered five hits and struck out two and walked three Forrest batters.
Kain Moses started on the mound for the Rockets and had another good outing as the promising freshman tossed 4.1 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits while striking four and walking two Nolensville batters.
Four errors cost the Rockets with two of them coming in the bottom of the first inning as the Knights scored two unearned runs and never trailed.
Nolensville added two more runs in the second inning with the big blow coming off the bat of Carson Robble, who laced an RBI double in part of his 4-for-4 effort at the plate.
The Rockets rallied in the top of the third inning, cutting the Nolensville lead in half as Grayson Whaley drove in one run with an RBI single and Blaize Sweeney knocked in Forrest’s final run of the tournament on an fielder’s choice RBI.
Moses and Conder turned in a 1-2-3 fourth inning and the Rockets had two-on and two-out in the top of the fifth, but failed to push any runs across the plate.
Robble singled leading off the bottom of the inning, sending Moses out of the game and Connor Lewis came to the hill for the Rockets.
Five batters later, Nolensville had stretched its lead to 9-2 and the Rockets never caught up.
“Kain threw the ball well, he kept us in the game,” Joyce said. “We had some mishaps there in the field, but everything is correctable and we have a new season starting on Monday.”
Whaley came on and got the final two outs of the inning and finished up the game on the mound for the Rockets.
The Rockets had five hits in the title tilt as Max Kirby had two singles while Brett Burnham, Whaley, and John Randall Dippold all had one base knock apiece.
“It’s really been a team effort, we had a lot of guys step up this year, a lot of guys on the mound and in the field,” Joyce said. “The team has really come together and put it together late in the year and are playing good at the right time.”
“No doubt these guys will rise up and they will get things going on Monday.”
Forrest travels to Creek Wood on Monday to take on the back-to-back District 11-AA champion Red Hawks.
The Rockets beat Creek Wood 3-0 last season in the same scenario.
Forrest 002 000 0-2 5 4
Nolensville 220 050 X-9 8 2
Forrest: Max Kirby 2-for-4, Brett Burnham 1-for-3, Grayson Whaley 1-for-3, John Randall Dippold 1-for-3.
BB: Ethan Mealer 2, Brett Burnham, Whaley.
RS: Burnham, Kirby.
RBI: Whaley, Blaize Sweeney.
GIDP: Cody Sisk.
Team LOB: 8
E: Burnham 2, Moses, Oliver.
LP: Kain Moses (4.0IP, 5H, 5R, 3ER, 4K, 2BB).
Relief: Connor Lewis (0.1IP, 2H, 4R, 3ER, 0K, 1BB).
Relief: Grayson Whaley (1.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 3K, 1BB).
Nolensville: Carson Robble 4-for-4, Tyler Smith 1-for-3, Jackson Hill 1-for-4, Bryan Cluck 1-for-3, Tyler Hummel 1-for-4.
BB: Smith, Dawson Conder, Ethan Syling, Aiden Young.
RS: Smith 2, Hill, Conder, Tyler Hammonds, Syling, Cluck, Hummel, Young.
2B: Robble 2.
RBI: Robble 2, Hammonds, Cluck, Hummel.
ROE: Smith, Hill, Hammonds.
HBP: Hammonds, Young.
SB: Smith, Syling, Cluck, Young.
Team LOB: 8
DP: Smith, Holden Collet.
WP: Dawson Conder (5IP, 4H, 2R, 0ER, 2K, 3BB).
Relief: Jared Steltmann (1IP, 0H, 0R, 3K, 0BB).
Relief: Tyler Hummel (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB).