CHAPEL HILL — In all the meetings between the Community Vikings and Forrest Rockets this season, the Vikings led in every game only to see the Rockets come from behind to win all the matchups …
CHAPEL HILL — In all the meetings between the Community Vikings and Forrest Rockets this season, the Vikings led in every game only to see the Rockets come from behind to win all the matchups between the two neighboring rivals.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, the script was the same on Wednesday as Community took the early lead only to see the Rockets use a 7-run second inning to take control as Forrest defeated the Vikings 12-4 in the Region 4-AA baseball finals.
Community (18-16) started out in grand style in the opening inning.
Maki Fleming doubled and Corey Paterick singled to put runners on the corners with one out before Mason Russell drilled a shot over the left center field fence for a three-run homer to give the Vikings a quick 3-0 lead.
Some shoddy Viking defense allowed the Rockets to plate one run in the bottom of the inning as Community took a 3-1 lead to the second.
It was a long bottom of the second as Viking miscues allowed the Rockets to load the bases without the ball leaving the infield.
Forrest took advantage of its opportunities and plated seven runs to give the Rockets an 8-3 lead.
The Vikings bounced back with a run in the third inning on an RBI-single by Stratton Lovvorn to cut the Forrest lead to 8-4, but Community was its own worst enemy as two runners were picked off base to squelch the rally and leave the Vikings with just one run in the inning.
Community could not muster more than one base runner in each of the final four innings as the Rockets maintained their lead.
Forrest added three insurance runs in the fifth and a single run in the sixth, all after two were out to finish the scoring.
Russell had two hits, including his home run to lead the Viking 8-hit attack.
Russell started on the mound with Blaine Paschal, Gage Underwood, and Dylan Norris in relief.
Despite the loss, the Vikings are still alive and will take on Watertown in the sectional round.
A Community win would send the Vikings to the TSSAA Class AA state tournament.
Community 301 000 0 — 4 8 1
Forrest 170 031 x — 12 17 1
Community: Mason Russell 2-for-4, Corey Paterick 1-for-3, Gage Underwood 1-for-3, Stratton Lovvorn 1-for-3, James Beech 1-for-3, Maki Fleming 1-for-4, Dylan Norris 1-for-4.
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