Back in June Mother Nature, and some other nefarious forces, prematurely cut short the Rocket's march to a City Tile after a 2nd consecutive undefeated season and Back-to-Back Division Titles. But picking up where they left off, "The Rocket" surged throughout the Fall season with commanding pitching, dangerous hitting and consistent defense. Securing a spot in the Finals after a 15-0 win over Glenside on Saturday, the squad was singularly focused on the first Championship of the season.
It was a perfect "Leon Weather" day as Senior Leon Finney took a no-hitter into the 5th, striking out 8 with a dominant fastball in the high 80s and a devastating slider. Senior Ben Simon, who closed out the 8-4 win to secure the Championship, said it best before the game. "We play really well when it's on the line. We won't fold!"
Their bats did plenty of talking, scoring 8 runs on 10 hits, most notably Sophomore Avi Cantor whose lead off Triple (2-3, 3B, RBI, R) set up Junior Alex Torres (1-2, BB, 2RBI) for a huge 2-run single to break it back open in the 6th. But the big story of the day was defense. Senior Lukas Supovitz-Aznar (2-3, 2RBI) set the tone early with a diving grab to snare a flare hit into left. Moments later Senior Arsenio "Pepe" Gomez made a diving stop in RF backing up an errant throw and sent a laser beam to nab a greedy runner at 2nd. In the next frame a deep shot into the right field corner was played perfectly by Ben Kenney and Junior Alex Torres to nail another hungry runner at 3rd with Ben Simon applying a perfect tag.
After Mt. Airy made a game of it in the 5th, Lukas Aznar cut off their momentum with a scoreless 6th, the Rockets' bats exploded for 3 insurance runs in the bottom half and Ben Simon shut the door in the 7th. As Junior Ijustice Avery flipped a hard hit grounder to Senior Jason Greene for the final out at 2nd, a title was secured and a deeper belief about what is possible in the Spring started to settle in.
The Rockets, 2016 Fall Ball Champions, open their 2017 regular season against Washington on March 23rd with one solitary goal- Win It All. If they keep playing as they did today, a book-end City C'hip is most assuredly in the cards.