Rockets falter against Butler

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By Todd Martin

The SCHS baseball team had an up-and-down run at the Southern Invitational.

The boys hammered host Southern 12-6 Saturday.

"We played really well and came out and hit the ball," SCHS head coach Bart Roettger said. "I thought we came out strong and aggressive and ready to play."

The Rockets tallied a season-high 12 hits in that win.

However, Monday's final game in the invitational wasn't nearly as sweet. The Rockets fell 14-1 to Butler behind eight errors.

"I could see it coming before we even started the game," Roettger said. "We had our worst infield (practice before the game) we've taken all year. I told them after the game that the way they came out set the tone. We had enough talent to stay close through most of the game, but it didn't look like anyone wanted to step up. I'm not upset with the defense -- although it was mind-blowing -- and I'm not upset with the offense, but it was the way we came out with a timid mindset that bothers me."

Butler led just 3-1 after four innings, but started to blow the game open in the fifth and on.

"We told the guys that we can't dwell on one game, but we can learn from it," Roettger said. "We lost to a good team, but we have to learn not just from the miscues, but from how we approach each and every game. The good thing is that it's a 30-game season. One game won't decide it. A true champion bounces back and comes out to play the next day."

Despite all the errors and being held to just two hits, Roettger noted a few bright spots.

"I continue to be impressed with the way Clay Minor comes out to play," he said. "He's aggressive in the field and at the plate, and he really brings the right attitude out every day."

Even though Tyler Layton got knocked around on the mound, Roettger said he was impressed with the pitcher's determination.

"He battled even though he didn't have his best stuff and the defense wasn't there behind him," the coach said. "After the (Butler) home run in the fifth I went out to talk to him, and asked him if he wanted to finish. He said 'Yes, sir,' so we left him in and he got the next two guys to strike out. That shows you how well he responds to adversity, and how determined he is to continue to improve and work."

Roettger said he talked with the team again after they returned to Shelbyville last night, and noted that they were already putting the loss behind them.

"These guys will be fine," he said. "Hopefully they'll learn from it and know that they have a responsibility to come out ready and sharp before each game. We have a lot of chances left to make up for this game. We're going to see a lot of really good teams this year. Plus, we get to play Butler again (on May 16) so that will give us a chance to see how much we've improved and how far we've come."