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The SCHS baseball team grabbed control of the 30th District on Thursday, and then followed that with a two-game split at the Wooden Bat Tournament at University Heights over the weekend.
The Rockets had one game rained out in the tournament, but still played two on Saturday, picking up a 4-1 win over Warren East and then falling 9-2 to Henderson County.
SCHS head coach Bart Roettger said his team started strong, but came out flat in the second game.
"I thought we played really well in the first game," he said. "After that I gave the guys some money for food, and I think they came back with a concession stand hangover (for the game against Henderson County). They didn't follow that youth league rule of not eating 30 minutes before the game."
Roettger praised Eric Standafer's outing against Warren East where he picked up the win. And he noted that the Rockets got some timely hitting.
"We got some key hits and did a good job of battling back in tough conditions after getting down 1-0," he said. "I was really impressed with the way the guys were able to advance runners with sacrifice bunts. We couldn't really be as aggressive on the bases as we wanted too because it was a sloppy track. But we advanced runners and took advantage of some key two-out hits. It could've been a bigger win (than 4-1), but we had three runners thrown out at home. Some of that was it being a sloppy track and some of it was me trying to be too aggressive and sending guys that maybe shouldn't have gone."
However, Roettger's main focus was on the second game, where he didn't see the commitment he wanted from his team.
"Before we knew what happened we were down 4-0," he said. "We were tentative and, really, we didn't compete from the first pitch. We're not good enough to just step on the field and get a win. We tried to make it clear after the game that if we lose that's OK, but to come out flat like that and just not compete is not acceptable."
With wins over Eminence and Anderson County, the Rockets now control their destiny in the race for the top seed in the 30th District Tournament. The Rockets defeated Anderson 3-0 on Thursday, giving them a 2-0 record in the district. Tuesday's game against Spencer County wasn't completed at press time.
Roettger said the atmosphere and his team's play was exactly what he was looking for in a rivalry game with so much on the line.
"We had great fan support and the guys played with a lot of intensity," he said. "If we come out and play hard and focused like that we're going to be a tough out for anybody."
Jordan Burk stole the show, pitching a complete game two-hitter with nine strikeouts for the win.
"The best thing about his outing was that he got ahead in the count, kept his pitch count down and didn't allow Anderson County to get into their running game. He never allowed Anderson to get any momentum at all. It was a standard Jordan Burk postseason performance. He's a big time player that loves the limelight and he thrives on pitching in big situations."
The Rockets took the lead in the first inning with two two-out doubles from Eric Standafer and Jacob Livers. Livers' double scored Standafer.
In the third Standafer again made his mark, driving in two runs with a double.
"Eric has been a huge addition in the line-up," Roettger said. "With Jared (Clarkson) out with an injury he's stepped in and provided some big offensive outings. And I love Jacob hitting behind him in the four-spot. His laid back style is perfect because he doesn't worry about anything, he just comes up and hits."
Roettger said he hopes the Rockets can continue to put together games like the win over Anderson.
"That was as enjoyable experience as I've had at a game," he said. "Our defense was strong, we hit the ball and our pitching was fantastic. If we can continue to come out like that -- focused and ready to play -- we're going to get a lot more big wins."