Rockets Take It To An Extra Inning
On paper, this was not supposed to be a contest. However, that’s why you play the games. In the Regional Standings, Buhler earned the right to host a Regional Tournament by being the second overall seed with a glowing 17-3 record. Meanwhile, the Rockets entered the tournament as the 15th overall seed and a 6-14 record. After winning 6 of their last 10 games, the Rockets entered the contest with a quiet confidence. Buhler had swept the Rockets fairly easily in the first two games of the season, 10-2 and 13-3, but the Rockets had improved a lot since that doubleheader back in March. In a game that would not see a lot of offense, the Rockets struck first by scoring two runs in the top of the first inning as Charlie Black walked, Chase Green singled and then Bryce Bischler singled to score Black. Meanwhile, a defensive error allowed Green to score to give the Rockets the early 2-0 lead. With sophomore Jayden Jones on the mound, the Rockets were able to hold the 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 4th inning. Leading off the bottom of the 4th, Buhler smashed a solo homerun to left field to cut into the Rocket’s lead. Senior Trevor Kiser relieved Jones in the 5th and neither team was able to capitalize as the Rockets held the slim 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. The Rockets only needed three more outs to record a huge upset over the Crusaders. However, a leadoff walk and later a Rocket error put the Crusaders in prime scoring position. A passed ball allowed the Crusaders to score the tying run. In the bottom of the 8th, the Rockets again gifted the Crusaders baserunners by walking the first two hitters. With runners on first and second, the Crusaders attempted a sacrifice bunt to move the runners. However, the Rockets gifted another run to the Crusaders when the throw sailed over the head of the first baseman allowing the Crusaders to score the winning run and win 3-2 in 8 innings. While this loss ends the Rocket’s season, they can take pride in their tremendous improvement over the second half of the season. They almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the state and that is something that the younger players can build on for next season.