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Rockets roll off three straight

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By Todd Martin

The SCHS baseball team bounced back from a tough loss to Butler on Monday to score a win over Woodford County Tuesday and sweep a doubleheader against Calloway County Wednesday.

"I told the guys before the Woodford County game Tuesday that the true test is how they come back after a loss," SCHS head coach Bart Roettger said. "That's how you show how good you are, you battle back. I think it shows how much leadership and determination this team has."

Jordan Burk picked up the win over Woodford County.

The Rockets scored a 4-2 win over Woodford, but lost Roettger and assistant coach Mike Moore, who were both thrown out during the win. Roettger first argued a close pick-off call at first, then was sent to the dugout after arguing the umpire's decision to send his coaches off the gravel in front of the dugout and into the dugout. The final straw came after a controversial call where the Rockets' Nick Hamblen was called out after allegedly missing third when he scored from second on a Jared Clarkson double. Roettger left the dugout to dispute the call by the home-plate ump, after the umpire made the call on a Woodford County appeal.

With both coaches forced to sit out the next game, the team responded behind JV coach Craig Slaughter and freshman coach Adam Fowler. Shelby County opened the doubleheader against Calloway with a 9-5 win

"Both of those guys were tremendous, pulling quadruple duty (Wednesday)," Roettger said. "They had a freshman game that morning, then coached the first game against Calloway County, helped us during the second game, and then coached a JV game later that night. I think that shows the team how hard our coaches are willing to work for them."

Roettger said he regretted his actions that led to him being ejected, but he added that hopefully his team can learn from it.

"I regret my actions, but if we can learn from it as a team, that will make it worthwhile," he said.

Eric Standafer got the win in the first game against Calloway County, and Nolan Mills shut down Calloway in the second game to get his second win of the season. Mills threw six-and-a-third innings, allowing just four hits. Scott Clemmons picked up the save.

"Nolan was outstanding," Roettger said. "The thing about him is he throws strikes and changes speeds better than anybody. He kept Calloway County on their front foot all night. And Scott Clemmons has become one of the best set-up men in the state. He's a crafty lefty and since we told him he's only going to be a pitcher, he's thrived in that role."

While the Rockets got the win, they did suffer a setback in the second game.

To score the game's only run, Jared Clarkson was called out on strike three, but took off to first when the catcher dropped the ball. Clarkson collided with the first baseman on the throw as the winning-run crossed the plate, but Clarkson broke his arm in the process.

"That's a huge loss for us," Roettger said. "But this is where playing 20-plus guys comes in. I've said all year that I have as much confidence in number 20 as I do in number one, so I think we're going to be all right."

The Rockets will head to Elizabethtown today through Saturday for the E-town Spring Break Classic. With Clarkson on the shelf for six weeks, Roettger said he will have to move some guys around and have players step up to fill the centerfielder's role.

"We'll move Jordan Burk to center when he's not pitching, and when he pitches we'll put either Jon Collins or Daniel Stallings in center. Both of them are very good, and would start on most of the team's in the state. We're just fortunate to have a very deep outfield. When Jordan's in center, hopefully we can get Coty Minnis back from a pulled quad and put him in right. He'll be a big addition to our line-up for power, and he can help provide some of the pop we'll be missing from Jared (Clarkson)."