Before the first pitch was thrown, Rush's Short Stop nonchalantly asked his teammates where they were going to celebrate after beating up SLA. Four inning innings later he was chirping at SLA's 3rd Base Coach claiming they weren't showing class by running hard on the base paths to build a 10-run lead. The innings in between his two comments were a textbook example of how psychological the game of Baseball can be, why Rush fell out of C division last year and how the Rockets continue to surge.
After striking out the first two batters he faced, Rush's starter- Anthony Moore- walked Jeff Schwartz on four pitches, became visibly frustrated when he stole second, and seemed to lose his composure when called for a Balk. Schwartz was awarded third and easily scored on the next pitch when Kevin Courtney ripped one through that same Short Stop to make it 1-0.
The psychological impact of a run scoring without a hit continued to unnerve Moore who was called for a total of three Balks in the game. The second put Mike Sanders in scoring position and Moore uncorked a wild pitch allowing him to reach 3rd. Although Sanders didn't score, the scene was foreshadowing for what would unfold in the third and fourth innings where the Rockets would score 11 times.
Moore threw hard, but the Rockets were patient the second time around the order. Ethan Reese fought off a bunch of pitches, eventually ripping a single up the middle and Abe Musselman was hit squarely in the back to reach 1st. With the runners moving, Jeff Schwartz notched his 31st and 32nd RBIs of the season on a rip into Center. Schwartz advanced to 2nd when Rush's defense tried to throw out Musselman at the plate. Kevin Courtney continued his hot hitting with an RBI (19) single to Center, making it 4-0. Mike Sanders came back in to pinch run, stole 2nd and 3rd and then scored on Nick Manton's groundout to the right side to make it 5-0.
Rush got 1 run back off 3 consecutive singles, but Nick Manton, who remained perfect on the season in 4 appearances by striking out 7 and only issuing 1 Walk, got some great defense from Mike Sanders whose catch in Right stranded runners on 2nd and 3rd. The Rockets continued to prove they can play Small Ball as well as mash it up by scoring 7 more runs off just 1 extra-base hit in the 4th to put it out of reach. The win moved SLA just 1/2 game out of first place behind University City who was in action against Gratz.
Kevin Courtney led The Rocket attack, reaching base in all 3 plate appearances, going 2-2 with a Double, 4RBIs and 2 Runs-scored (by Mike Sanders). SLA finished their 3-game road trip a perfect 3-0 and rides a 7-game win streak back home to Mt. Airy where they have outscored their opponents 82-9 in 5 games. Their next game is on May 6th vs. Bartram (7-2).