Mealer three-hitter, plus hot Rockets’ bats equals big win over Bobcats
The Forrest Rockets used the perfect combination of solid pitching, flawless defense, and some clutch hitting to take down Giles County 9-1 in a District 12-AA battle at Chapel Hill Monday night.
Columbia State Community College signee Ethan Mealer was strong on the mound for the Rockets, tossing a six inning, three-hitter while striking out 11 and issuing three bases on balls.
“Mealer was on the plate and had good command and kept us in the ballgame,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “Hitting wise, we jumped on them early and got the momentum on our side.”
“We got some big hits by Oliver and Sweeney and Whaley hit the ball good tonight, so it was a big district win for the guys tonight.”
Freshman Kain Moses has really picked up the pace out of the bullpen late in the season for the Rockets as he came on for Mealer in the top of the seventh and set down the Bobcats 1-2-3.
Spence Oliver went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs for Forrest, including a clutch two-out, two-run double in the breakaway bottom of the fifth inning.
Forrest backstop Blaize Sweeney, who went 2-for-3, spread the icing thick on the cake for the Rockets, scorching a two-run home run in the same inning to make it a 6-0 contest.
“That gave Mealer a little bit of break in the dugout and it gave him some cushion there where he could go after a lot of hitters and he could stay on the plate more,” Joyce said. “Those runs had to make him feel good, it kept his pitch count down and it kept us in the game a lot better.”
The Rockets picked up two unearned runs off Giles County starting pitcher Kalyl Givens in the bottom of the first inning when Mealer reached on a two-out error and Devon Aydelot came in to run for the Forrest catcher.
Whaley lined a single to center field and both runners moved up on a subsequent passed ball.
Oliver and Sweeney followed with back-to-back RBI singles and the Rockets were in business.
Both hurlers were in control and the game went to the fifth inning with the Rockets still up 2-0 when they added four more runs behind Oliver and Sweeney’s heroics at the plate.
The Bobcats finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning as they loaded the bases with no outs and scored one run and it could have been worse, but Mealer bowed up with three consecutive strikeouts to end the inning.
The Rockets added three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and Moses came to the hill in the top of the seventh and got the first out on a pop-up that Sweeney ran down on the first base line before Moses whiffed the final two Bobcats to end the game.
“Moses had been doing a great job for us,” Joyce said. “He comes in there and throws strikes and tonight when Mealer’s pitch count got up a little bit, Moses did what he was supposed to do.”
Forrest travelled to Pulaski last night, looking for the season series sweep versus Giles County ace Ben Peoples.
“Any district game is a challenge, especially that one facing a good pitcher tomorrow, so we have to get those bats rolling and pitch well too,” Joyce said. “I wouldn’t expect anything less, the boys will rise to the challenge and be ready tomorrow.”
Monday, April 22
Giles County 000 001 0-1 3 3
Forrest 200 043 X-9 9 0
Giles County: Tucker Jane 1-for-2, Lucas Johnson 1-for-3, Ben Peoples 1-for-2.
BB: Jane, Peoples, Dylan Carmen.
FC: Coleman Sinard.
Team LOB: 5
E: Johnson 2, Peoples.
LP: Kalyl Givens.
Forrest: Spence Oliver 3-for-4, Grayson Whaley 2-for-3, Blaize Sweeney 2-for-3, Max Kirby 1-for-3, Ethan Mealer 1-for-4.
BB: Kirby, Whaley.
RS: Kirby 2, Whaley 2, Devon Aydelot 2, Brett Burnham, Oliver, Sweeney.
2B: Whaley, Oliver, Kirby.
RBI: Sweeney 3, Oliver 3, Mealer.
ROE: Whaley, Mealer, Brett Burnham.
Team LOB: 5
WP: Ethan Mealer (6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 11K, 3BB).
Relief: Kain Moses (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2K, 0BB).
Tuesday, April 23
At Giles County
Forrest 000 100 0-1 4 3
Giles County 010 120 X-4 7 0
Forrest: Grayson Whaley 2-for-2, Ethan Mealer 1-for-3, Spence Oliver 1-for-3.
RS: Devon Aydelot.
GIDP: Blaize Sweeney.
Team LOB: 3
E: Burnham 2, Oliver.
DP: Max Kirby
LP: Grayson Whaley (7IP, 4H, 4R, 2ER, 5K, 1BB).
Giles County: Tucker Jane 1-for-2, Lucas Johnson 1-for-3, Ben Peoples 1-for-3, Dylan Carmen 1-for-3, Coleman Sinard 1-for-3, Hunter Griggs 1-for-3, Jeremiah Dudley 1-for-3.
BB: Kalyl Givens.
RS: Johnson, Carmen, Griggs, Givens.
2B: Peoples, Carmen.
RBI: Peoples 2, Sinard.
ROE: Johnson, Griggs.
FC: Peoples, Saniter Phillips, Jeremiah Dudley.
Team LOB: 4
DP: Heath Herd.
WP: Ben Peoples (7IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 10K, 1BB).
District 12-AA Standings
Nolensville (15-11, 10-0)
Forrest (12-9, 5-5)
Giles County (9-11, 5-5)
Murfreesboro Central Magnet (15-10, 5-5)
Marshall County (12-12, 4-6)
Community (9-18, 1-9)