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Tournaments  | Story  | 5/29/2023

FTB Rockets Advanced To Monday

Riley Sheppard     
Heading into their first playoff matchup undefeated, FTB Rockets 2025 didn’t waste any time putting runs on the board against Prime Baseball 2025.

“We try to score every inning, it's been in the first and then not really for the rest of the game until the end,” Rockets head coach Chase Olive said. “But luckily we got a few more in that last inning to make it a little more comfortable.”

Advancing to the East Memorial Classic quarterfinals in 6-1 fashion, Drew Buchanan led off the bottom first with a triple to get his team off and rolling.

Buchanan was one of two runs for the Rockets in the opening inning following a sac fly from Ryan Senecal, with No. 227 ranked Gabriel Acevedo scoring two batters later.

After a dominant three games behind the plate, Gabe Graulau received the start on the mound for the Rockets, tossing five innings while striking out five, mixing in a mid-80s fastball complimented by a mid-70s changeup and low-70s curveball.

“He’s a great two-way player,” Olive said. “I think [Graulau] was up to 87 mph in the first and kind of held it up to 85 the rest of the way, which was good to see, and he's been hitting it great this tournament.”

Heading into the playoff game with three doubles, a triple and four RBI’s on the weekend, Graulau drove in three more runs on the afternoon to go along with a strong pitching performance.

“It shows he has a lot of trust in me,” Graulau said. “And also when I go up there, I trust my teammates and infield to make plays for me. I don’t try and do too much, I just go up there and hope for the best.”

The Rockets will be back in action Monday morning at 8:00 a.m for a quarterfinal matchup at Terry Park. And despite the early morning start, the Rockets two-way star wants to see two things from his teammates with a semifinal appearance on the line.

“Basically energy is one key thing,” Graulau said. “Because once that's going the other teams basically shut down early. Also, a lot of bombs. I'd like to see that. Yeah, still hoping for a home run from somebody here.”