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SCHS head coach Bart Roettger was looking for a couple different things as the Rockets faced Eminence in the first round of the 30th District Baseball Tournament at Spencer County Monday.
"I told the guys what I wanted was them to come out with that business-like approach, I wanted them to expect to win, and take care of business. And I wanted us to have some fun."
The Rockets seemed to approach the game exactly like Roettger wanted, jumping out early and hanging 31-0 five-inning whipping on Eminence.
"I thought we did a great job of putting the ball in play, we were able to work on our base-running, our pitchers attacked the strike zone and the guys had a good time out there," he said. "Plus, it was good to give the guys that have gone through all the practices, the conditioning, the fall baseball that don't get a chance to play a lot some quality time."
Shelby County came out hot and never looked back, posting runs up and down the line-up, and Coty Minnis and Scott Clemmons locked-up the Eminence line-up, combining to throw a no-hitter.
"Our schedule hasn't allowed for many games with some breathing room, so it was good to come out and just play," Roettger said. "The guys came out loose and excited, and that's just how we want them to play (tonight) in the championship game."
Roettger said the team's relaxed attitude goes back to last Thursday when the team bonded on a trip to watch the University of Kentucky play Ole Miss in Lexington.
"That's where it all started," he said. "The guys had a lot of fun hanging out together, we had a great practice the next day, and I think it helped that we had a couple of games rained out at the end of the season. It gave us a chance to get refocused and energized for the postseason."
In a 31-0 win there were of course highlights. To go along with Minnis' and Clemmons' combining to toss a no-hitter, the Rockets got big contributions from starters and reserves alike.
Matthew Purdom hit a two-run home run to lead the substitutes in the late game action. The subs actually outscored the starters in the game, putting up 16 runs over the final two innings.
"That bodes well for our program," Roettger said. "It shows the depth of our program, and shows that there isn't going to be a drop off as we graduate players in the future."
Roettger also noted the offensive play from subs Jacob Livers, Brian Straub and John Hunter.
For the starters, Roettger said he was impressed with the way Daniel Davenport and Tyler Layton hit the ball. Davenport also stole home in the first inning, showing that he can do more than just hit at Spencer County.
"It's going to be tough to keep him out of the line-up for (tonight's) game," Roettger said. "He really seems to like Spencer County's park. During the regular season he had seven RBIs over here, and I think he came pretty close to that again (Monday)."
The Rockets will face the winner of last night's Spencer County and Anderson County game tonight at 5:45 for the 30th District championship.
Roettger said he hasn't decided who the Rockets will pitch in the title game.
"We're as loaded in arms department as we can be," he said. "No matter who we throw we know they'll come out and attack the strike zone, and we'll be confident in them. We're looking at Nolan (Mill), Layton and (Jordan) Burk, and it's going to be a tough decision on who we'll throw. All three have gotten big wins for us this year, but all three are very gifted at other positions as well. It's the best difficult decision we've had to make this year."
"No matter who we play, we just want to come out and be aggressive and put the ball in play," Roettger said. "If we can do that and score five runs we'll be OK."
The Rockets are 8-0 in games where they score at least five runs.