Mealer leads Rockets to bounce back win

Friday, April 14, 2017
Ethan Mealer shutout the Tigers at Fayetteville on Tuesday, extending his scoreless streak to 19 innings in the 10-0 win.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Ethan Mealer is on a major tear on the mound as the Forrest freshman blanked Fayetteville Tuesday night to extend his scoreless streak to 19 innings and salvage a split for the Rockets in the season series.

“It was great to see how the boys reacted to a loss Monday night,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “The coaching staff was really pleased that they didn't hit a panic button and just got back to playing our team's game.”

Mealer tossed seven innings of no-hit ball at MTCS last Tuesday in an extra inning 1-0 win by the Rockets and he backed it up with a stellar performance in the 10-0 run-rule win versus the Tigers.

Mealer pitched all five innings, giving up four hits, striking out eight and walking one Fayetteville batter in the contest.

“Our pitching staff as a whole have really been on target all year long,” Joyce said. “Tuesday night was no different with Mealer hitting spots and keeping us in a great position to get a win with a solid defense behind him.”

After a disappointing loss to the Tigers Monday night at Forrest, the Rockets’ bats came alive on Tuesday as they banged out 12 hits in the shortened game.

“Our bats really came back around,” Joyce said. “It was a great feeling to see that part of our game come back and score, and to score 10 runs showed that the boys have worked hard to get the bats back on track.”

Dustin Brashear had two hits and two RBI as the Rockets came back from a tough loss Monday to Fayetteville, run-ruling the Tigers on Tuesday.

Mealer led the way with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and an RBI, while JT Ferguson and Dustin Brashear had two hits and two RBI apiece.

Luke Cunningham, Blaize Sweeney, Jarvis Lyttle (2RBI), Michael Dyer (RBI), and Jaylen Smith (RBI) all had one hit apiece.

“Mealer also came through with the bat with three hits and really helped his cause on the mound, along with several other guys putting together a great hitting performance,” Joyce said. “Jarvis has had a couple good nights at the plate and the team as a whole have worked really hard on their swings to get runs across and helping us win ballgames.”

Brashear drove in the first run of the game in the top of the first inning and the Rockets plated two more runs in the third to take a 3-0 lead.

Chapel Hill put the game away with four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth while Mealer dominated on the hill, only allowing one Fayetteville runner to reach third base.

The Rockets (10-6, 8-2) remained atop the District 9A standings with the win over the Tigers and have a bye week from league play next week.

“We have a district bye week next week which gives us a great opportunity to play some good non-district competition,” Joyce said.

Forrest plays Waverly (10-3) and Summertown (9-7) tonight in the Summertown Tournament and on Saturday, the Rockets take on Columbia Academy (14-3) and Decatur Riverside (7-5).

“We will be working on several different parts of our game over the next week in these games,” Joyce said. “It is a great chance for us to see some different teams and the boys will be working hard to keep getting better.”

The Rockets return to district play on April 24 at Huntland in a home and away series with the Hornets.

Forrest 102 43-10 12 1

Fayetteville 000 00-0 4 5

Forrest: Ethan Mealer 3-for-4, JT Ferguson 2-for-4, Dustin Brashear 2-for-4, Luke Cunningham 1-for-4, Blaize Sweeney 1-for-3, Jarvis Lyttle 1-for-2, Michael Dyer 1-for-1, Jaylen Smith 1-for-3

RBI: Jarvis Lyttle 2, Jonathan Lykins 2, Brashear 2, Ethan Mealer, Jacob Jones, Michael Dyer, Jaylen Smith

BB: Lyttle, Smith

RS: Ferguson 2, Brashear 2, Gauge Anderson 2, Cunningham, Mealer, Brett Burnham, Lucas Welch

ROE: Jonathan Lykins, Mealer, Brashear

FC: Lykins

HBP: Jacob Jones 2, Sweeney

SB: Anderson

E: Cunningham

WP: Ethan Mealer (5IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 8K, 1BB)

Fayetteville: Matthew Potts 2-for-2, Mac O’Conner 1-for-3, Jeffrie Pettie 1-for-2

ROE: O’Conner

FC: Lex Marsh

CS: O’Conner

E: Marsh, Zorion Pullen, Cordell Jones, Nathan Clutts, Twitty

LP: O’Conner

Thursday, April 13

Forrest at Nolensville, Shelby Park, Nashville

Forrest 002 030 5-10 13 3

Nolensville 130 010 0-5 8 3

Forrest: JT Ferguson 3-for-4, Luke Cunningham 3-for-3, Jaylen Smith 3-for-4, Dustin Brashear 2-for-3, Jonathan Lykins 1-for-2, Dylan Eady 1-for-4

2B: Jaylen Smith, Luke Cunningham, Dustin Brashear

RBI: Smith 2, Ferguson 2, Lykins, Eady, Cunningham, Brashear

RS: Smith 3, Ferguson 2, Cunningham, Brashear, Gauge Anderson, Lykins, Eady

ROE: Eady

FC: Michael Dyer, Jordan Jent, Ethan Mealer

HBP: Blaize Sweeney

SB: Lucas Welch

CS: Cunningham

E: Smith, Mealer, Ferguson

WP: Dustin Brashear (1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 0BB), Spence Oliver (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 1BB), Drew Daughrity (5IP, 7H, 5R, 2ER, 5K, 2BB)