Sisk gem puts Rockets in driver’s seat
The Forrest Rockets (18-14-1) squared off against the Loudon Redskins (24-10) in the second round of the Spring Fling XXVI Spring Sports Championships on a warm and breezy afternoon in Smyrna.
The Rockets, making their fifth appearance in the tournament and Loudon making their third, gave the crowd their money’s worth with great pitching and solid defense, but the boys from Chapel Hill came away with a 5-1 win.
The Rockets played again on Thursday versus Sequatchie County in a winner’s bracket game.
Forrest took the field in the top of the first with Cody Sisk on the mound.
Sisk showed he was up to the task as he struck out the first two batters he faced and got a harmless fly ball to center field that Ty Hengesbach caught for the third out.
“It felt good, first time I pitched seven innings,” Sisk said. “My fastball was good.”
The Redskin’s left-hander Brody Bingham was on the mound and he too showed he was ready by getting the Rockets lead-off man Brett Burnham on a line drive to first.
Bingham then struck out the next two Rockets and at the end of one inning the score was knotted at 0-0.
The top of the second saw the Redskins breakthrough for a run with two outs on an RBI double by Cade Smith.
The Rockets bounced back as Blaize Sweeney was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Devon Aydelot came in as courtesy runner.
Oliver singled to put Rockets at first and second with one out.
Bryson Smith then grounded a ball to short that the Redskins shortstop bobbled, but was able to recover to get Oliver as Smith beat the throw to first and the Rockets had runners at the corners.
On a passed ball, Smith took off for second and Loudon catcher threw down, but Smith was safe and the Redskins second baseman threw wild to home as Aydelot slid across the plate to tie the game.
The top of the third showcased the Rocket’s defense.
Mallory Lunsford beat out a single and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Austyn Myers.
Kadin Donkins lined a shot to center field which Hengesbach came in to snag and throw to second baseman Kirby to nail Lunsford who had drifted too far off the bag.
The Rockets put some distance between themselves and the Redskins in the bottom of the third inning as Cannon Cervantes and Max Kirby hit back-to-back singles and Sweeney walked to load the bases.
Senior Grayson Whaley laced a two-run single to center to make it 3-1 and moments later Aydelot scored on a wild pitch to put the Rockets up by three runs.
“I was glad to contribute”, said Whaley “I wasn’t feeling good in the dugout and to do this is great.”
The fourth inning saw the Redskins get a runner on base via an error, but Sisk shut them down without any damage and the Rockets went quietly in the bottom of the inning.
There was no scoring in the fifth inning as both teams left two runners stranded.
In the top of the sixth, Loudon’s Nathan Hickman got aboard on a ball hit to deep short, but Sisk was still throwing bullets and shut the Redskins down.
Bryson Smith led off the bottom of the sixth with a ball hit to center for a double and Hengesbach sacrificed him to third base.
Gauge Anderson walked before Burnham singled to drive in Smith to make it a 5-1 ballgame.
Sisk, showing no signs of weakening got a lineout to Kirby at second for the first out of the seventh inning and then induced a grounder to Smith at third, who threw on to Oliver at first for the second out.
“Sisk pitched a great game,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “This team backs each other up. Just great team chemistry.”
A base hit by the Redskin’s Lunsford kept the game alive, but Sisk got Myers to ground to second to Kirby who fielded it and threw to Oliver at first for the final out and the Rockets moved on.
“I love this game,” said the sophomore Kirby. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamed of being in these moments.”
Loudon 010 000 0 1-6-1
Forrest 013 001 0 5-8-2
Loudon: Mackenzie Lunsford 2-for-3, Austyn Myers 1-for-3, Nathan Hickman 1-for-3, Jackson Duncan 1-for-3, Cade Smith 1-for 3.
ROE: Andrew Gibson, Jacob Mallory.
LP: Brody Bingham (6IP, 8H, 5R, 3ER, 6K, 3 BB).
Forrest: Cannon Cervantes 2-for-4, Brett Burnham 1-for-4, Max Kirby 1-for-4, Blaize Sweeney 1-for-1, Grayson Whaley 1-for-3, Bryson Smith 1-for-3, Spence Oliver 1-for-3.
BB: Ty Hengesbach, Sweeney, Anderson.
RS: Devon Aydelot 2, Cervantes, Smith, Kirby.
RBI: Whaley 2, Burnham.
WP: Sisk (7 IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 3K, 1 BB).