EAST BEND - After a tough 11-3 loss to Davie on March 15, Forbush’s first-year head coach Denny Key refocused his club.
The Falcons responded in a big way, routing local rivals Starmount and Elkin in a back-to-back game last week in front of the home crowd.
“We lost a tough game to Davie, and the boys got down a little bit. We had a little refocus chat and they picked it back up and got their heads together,” Key explained. We’ve been working a lot on the mental aspect of the game.
“They are use to having success around here. I want to make sure we continue that and do it the right way. Some of it is them getting used to me and me getting used to them. I think we have the potential to be a really solid baseball team,” he added.
Against county rival Starmount, the Falcons racked up nine runs in the first three innings en route to a dominating 13-3 mercy-rule victory.
Barrett Hennings highlighted the strong start with a bases-clearing triple in the third to push the advantage out to 9-2.
In the fifth, Forbush pushed the Rams to the brink of the mercy rule when Ben Temple plated a pair of runs on a bases-loaded single to left, extending the lead out to 11-2.
Starmount fought back in the sixth to add on a run when Samuel Stone scored Ben Combs on an infield single to short to cut the deficit to 11-3.
But the Falcons put the finishing touches on the win in the home-half of the sixth on a Bryson Lee RBI double off the center-field wall. Lee came home to score on a throwing error to third, allowing the game-winning run to cross the plate.
“Tonight was as complete of a game we’ve played all season,” Key said. “We hit the ball well and had a good approach at the plate. We were aggressive, and that’s something we’ve been focusing on, swinging the bat instead of watching. I was proud of the way they responded.”
Brad Dzeskewicz picked up the win with four solid innings on the mound, allowing two runs, while striking out six.
Forbush followed the Unifi Bowl victory with another mercy-rule triumph over Elkin Friday night, cruising to the 12-2 win.
The Falcons jumped ahead just two batters into the game when Carson Fulp brought home Bryson Lee on a double to center. After back-to-back errors in the infield loaded the bases, Austin Levengood plated a pair of runs to extend the lead out to 3-0.
Lee and Fulp pushed the lead to 5-0 on back-to-back run-scoring hits in the second.
“That was a strange game,” Key said. “Mason Doub made some pitches when he had to and kept things from blowing up on us. And I was very pleased with our hitting approach; we are getting a little more aggressive as we go.
“We are playing pretty baseball now, instead of that ugly stuff that gives me heartburn,” he added.
Despite their recent roll (25 runs on 24 hits in their last two games), Key knows the team is “only as good as their last one” as they take on Alleghany and Wilkes Central this week.
“We’ve played real well these past couple games. But these two games are done - we are only as good as our last one. We need to make sure we’re good after the Alleghany game and the Wilkes Central game,” he said.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.