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Rocket baseball opens season with bang

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By Todd Martin

The SCHS baseball team needed just 10 hits to pick up 20 runs in a 20-0 five-inning rout of visiting Eminence in the season opener Monday.

One reason the Rockets were able to put up so many runs was because of the Warriors' pitching woes. The Rockets got free bases nine times after being hit by pitches, and four of those runners came into score. Shelby County also earned three walks in the game.

"The biggest thing was I didn't think we hit the ball nearly as well as I thought we would," SCHS head coach Bart Roettger said. "But I did see a lot of positives. The guys did a great job of taking what they were giving us -- they stood in and got hit by pitches to reach base, and they earned some walks. I also thought we did a good job of taking extra bases when we had the chance."

Tyler Layton and Daniel Davenport each picked up two hits and had three RBIs to lead the Rockets.

Roettger also noted the offensive game of Jon Collins in the leadoff spot.

"Jon just continues to be impressive in the lead-off spot," he said. "He's' doing the things that a lead-off hitter is supposed to do -- getting on base, working the count and scoring runs."

While the offense took what they could get, the SCHS pitchers took full control of the Warrior hitters.

Jordan Burk, Ben Glassner and Chad Bailey combined to throw a no-hitter while striking out 13 of the 19 batters they faced.

"Our pitching and defense were much improved," Roettger said. "Those guys threw strikes and that's big because we're really encouraging our pitchers to attack the strike zone."

Roettger said he was able to reach deep down in his bench, getting everybody into the game Monday.

"That was really important, because everybody on this team is going to help this year and play," he said. "It was good to get those first game jitters out of the way, and get everybody some varsity experience."

While there were plenty of positives for the Rockets, Roettger said he still wants to see improvement at the plate.

"We want to try and work the entire field, spread the ball around," he said. "I think maybe were just a little to excited, but I'd like to see us hit the ball a little better."