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Rockets drop Waggener, Webster

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Boys have won five of last six

By Todd Martin

The SCHS baseball team squeezed two games in Wednesday after a couple of rainouts earlier this week.

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The Rockets whipped visiting Webster County, 9-6, then a few hours later downed Waggener, 12-5.

“The good thing was we got a couple of wins and got to pitch a lot of guys,” SCHS Coach Bart Roettger said. “We threw seven guys in the two games, and it was nice to see them get some work and look good.”

Against Webster County (2-5), the Rockets started slow, but a five-run third inning blew open the game. Shelby took advantage of Webster mistakes, getting all five runs on just one hit.

Taylor Boone, Jared Clarkson, Eric Standafer, John Hunter, Jacob Livers and Tyler Tipton all reached on walks or errors, then Daniel Stallings ripped a two-run single to cap off the inning.

Shelby pushed the lead to 8-0 in bottom of the fourth, when Boone scored again on a passed ball and Hunter and Livers added RBI singles.

Then ahead, 9-1, in the top of the sixth the Rockets almost let Webster County back into the game.

The Trojans got two singles and a walk with the bases loaded, and two runs scored on a Shelby error. But John Collins squashed the threat by forcing a ground out for the second out and getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Collins then pitched a perfect seventh to finish the game.

“A win is a win,” Roettger said. “But I thought we came out a little lethargic, and we let them back in the game late. When you’re up eight the last thing, you want your pitchers to do is nibble on the plate and give up walks. In that situation, you want to let your defense make plays and stay aggressive, and we didn’t do that.”

SCHS 12, Waggener 5

The Rockets jumped out early and took down Waggener (1-6).

“We hit the ball really well, and everybody, one through nine, contributed in some way,” Roettger said. “We’re eliminating dead outs in our lineup and getting everybody keyed up and ready for the meat of our schedule coming up.”

Clarkson has been on fire to start, recording at least one hit in all nine games this year, and he’s stepped it up even further by hitting safely  in 12 of his last 18 at-bats.

“He’s been off the charts so far,” Roettger said. “He’s hitting well over .600 and has just been amazing so far.”

Matt Purdom had two-run single early in the game to put the Rockets on top, and Daniel Stallings had his second two-hit game in a row.

The Rockets are now 6-1 when they score five or more runs.

Matt Axline got the victory for Shelby, and Roettger said Axline shook the rust off well.

“He had a little trouble hitting guys, but he was being aggressive and trying to pitch inside so that’s OK,” the coach said. “Overall, since he sat last year out, I think he had a pretty good game.”

Standafer got his first action on the mound since the season-opener, and Roettger said he was pleased with his work.

“We thought he might be a little rusty, since he hadn’t pitched [since March 23], but he looked pretty sharp.”

The Rockets will head to Letcher County Central this weekend to play in the Mark Wright Agency Farm Bureau Classic.