Rockets drill Eminence, 20-1

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SCHS begins prep for busy spring break

By Todd Martin

The SCHS baseball team pounded out 16 hits, including a home run and five more extra-base hits, in a 20-1 five-inning whipping of Eminence on Tuesday.

Shelby (3-2) scored nine runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from John Hunter.

“The biggest thing in any district game is you want to see the guys come out ready, and I think scoring nine runs in the first shows that they came to play,” SCHS Coach Bart Roettger said. “I like to be the visiting team because you can put the fullcourt press on a team, and if you jump out early, it makes your pitcher’s job that much easier.”

The Rockets kept that "press" going, adding two runs in the second, four in the third, four in the fourth and a final run in the fifth. The game was call after five inning because of the 10-run rule.

The one blemish was allowing an earned run in the third.

“Drew McDonald pitched well with five strikeouts in three inning, but they got one earned run off him with a bloop single that scored a runner from second,” Roettger said. “But other than that he was great. And Matt Axline came for the final two innings and did a great job with four strikeouts.”

The Rockets' 16 hits were a season high, and Roettger said the team raised it’s batting average 80 points with the outburst.

Roettger made a few changes before the game, moving Nick Hamblen into the lead-off spot and Matthew Purdom into the starting lineup. And those changes paid off.

Hamblen had two doubles and scored twice, Purdom had two hits and scored a run and two four RBIs. Hunter moved from behind the plate to right field and had his home run along with a double and a walk while he also scored three runs.

Jared Clarkson also had two more hits, raising his average to .583, and he has hit safely in all five games.

The win put the Rockets at 1-0 in district play, with Anderson and Spencer counties left to play.

“Everybody played well, and that’s a good sign for us as we head into a big weekend and very busy week next week,” Roettger said.

The Rockets will play 12 games in the next 10 days starting with Mason County late Thursday night, Southern tonight and Bishop Brossart and Scott High on Saturday.

“So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised with our pitching staff,” Roettger said. “We have 10 or 11 guys that I have confidence in throwing out there. Now, we just have to figure out how to use our rotation in this coming week. Do we look to use guys for short outings so they’re available, or do we look for guys to go the distance? That’s something we have to work on. Plus, after this run we have Anderson County on the 14th, so we really want to have our rotation in line for that game.”

The Rockets will play a home games Tuesday through Thursday and then head to Letcher County Central for the Mark Wright Agency Farm Bureau Classic on Friday and Saturday.