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Rockets’ rally comes up short in region

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 12:57 pm


Luke Allen winds up and delivers a pitch for the Rockets. He got the start for Forrest on Saturday afternoon. – Post photo by Chris Siers

LORETTO — During the regular season, Forrest split two meetings with Cannon County, before defeating the Lions in the District 9-AA championship.

After falling to Summertown the Region 5-AA opener, Cannon County got its revenge on the Rockets and ended Forrest’s season with a 7-5 defeat, despite a valiant rally by the Rockets in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Cannon County scored a single run in the first and second inning on sac-fly RBIs and a RBI double to take a 2-0 lead over the Rockets.

Forrest had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the second following a lead-off walk by Carter Walk and a single by Luke Allen.

Branham Haynes ground out, but advanced Walk to third and Allen to second, to put two runners in scoring position with one out.

From there, starting Lion pitcher AJ Armstrong recorded back-to-back outs via line outs to end the Rocket threat.

Forrest continued to struggle to find consecutive hits and despite trailing 2-0, still never felt truly out of the game.

But that all changed when Cannon County blew the game open with a three-run fifth and a two-run sixth.

Brennan Mealer pokes a groundball single to the outfield for a base hit.

Trailing 7-0, and pushed to their final three outs, Forrest didn’t lay down quietly.

Houston Matlock, Austin Dillon and Brennan Mealer loaded the bases with three-straight walks, bringing Preston Gentry to the plate.

Gentry laced a line drive to right, but a Cannon County error allowed three runs to score and the Rockets found a surge of energy that allowed them to continue to put pressure on the Lions.

Kason Fuller pitched the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief on Saturday. – Post photo by Chris Siers

Tyler Baxter drew a one-out walk and Walk crushed a double to left, scoring Walk and Gentry to pull Forrest within two.

While the momentum clearly shifted in favor of the Rockets, Cannon County flashed the leather in the next at-bat and turned a double play to end the threat and the game.

Allen led the Rockets, going 3-for-4, while Gentry went 2-for-4 with a double and Walk went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double as well.

Allen went 5 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs on six hits with two strikeouts before Kason Fuller took over and pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief.

Fuller gave up just two hits and recorded a strikeout.

Forrest ends the 2023 season as the District 9-AA champions and with an 18-12 overall record.

Cannon Co.              110 032 0 — 7  8  1

Forrest                        000 000 5 — 5  8  3

Forrest: Brennan Mealer 1-for-3, Preston Gentry 2-for-4, Carter Walk 2-for-3, Luke Allen 3-for-4.

WP: Armstrong

LP: Allen