No-hitter caps off Rockets sweep to start 2022 campaign

By Anthony S. Puca Sports Writer
Posted 3/15/22

The Forrest Rockets opened the 2022 season in style, sweeping Mt. Pleasant in a pair of 14-0 run-rule wins on Monday at Maury County and Tuesday at Chapel Hill.

After Preston Gentry tossed a …

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No-hitter caps off Rockets sweep to start 2022 campaign

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The Forrest Rockets opened the 2022 season in style, sweeping Mt. Pleasant in a pair of 14-0 run-rule wins on Monday at Maury County and Tuesday at Chapel Hill.

After Preston Gentry tossed a four-hit shutout in the season opener, Brennan Mealer and Austin Lampley combined for a no-hitter in Tuesday’s home opener.

“I’m really proud of our guys, it starts at the top as far as pitching, we threw strikes and did what we were supposed to do on the mound and let our defense play behind us,” Forrest coach Andy Burkett said. “Our guys are taking really quality at bats at the plate as well and we are manufacturing runs and scoring runs when they are making mistakes and that is all you can ask for.”

Mealer tossed the first four innings, striking out six and walking three Tigers before Lampley came on in the top of the fifth and set down the Tigers in order to preserve the no-no.

“It is a bright future for Mealer, he got a lot of time last year as a freshman and he worked hard in the off-season on his pitching and his hitting and I couldn’t be more impressed with him,’ Burkett said. “And of course Lampley, when you have a veteran guy like that on the mound…all Lampley knows how to do is win, he went 5-0 last year on the mound and he is about as good as you can ask for as a reliever and a starter.”

The Rockets had plenty of firepower at the plate, banging out 10 hits with Riley Durbin leading the way with a perfect 4-for-4 performance, including a pair of doubles and two RBIs.

Carter Walk and Lampley went 2-for-3 while Camden Vaughn and Braden Bowyer had one hit apiece with Bowyer driving in four runs on a three-run bases clearing double in the second inning and a fielder’s choice RBI in the third.

Lampley and Mealer had two RBIs apiece and Walk had one run batted in.

Mealer set down Mt. Pleasant in order in the top of the first inning and the Rockets plated a pair of runs in the home half of the inning for a 2-0 lead.

Mealer struck out the side in the top of the second inning and Mt. Pleasant starting pitcher Hayden Holt looked like he was going to have a 1-2-3 frame as well, but a dropped ball at first base with two outs opened the door for the Rockets, who batted around after the error and went on to score eight runs to take a commanding a 10-0 lead.

“That was huge and it is a testament to hustle and at the end of the day Timmy (Timmons) is one of the fastest guys on the team and he beat that that play out on top of the fact that that guy bobbled the ball and the next thing you know the guys just kept passing the bat.”

Mealer walked the first two Mt. Pleasant batters he faced in the top of the third and both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Brady Clark.

Mealer got out the jam on a pop-up to Durbin at third base and a grounder to Moses at shortstop to retire the side.

Forrest added three more runs in the bottom the inning on back-to-back fielder’s choice RBIs by Mealer and Bowyer and the 13th run came home on a Mt. Pleasant error.

A pop-up to Gentry at second base opened up the top of the fourth before Gilliam walked, but he was quickly erased when Mealer picked him off leaning at first base.

Mealer came up with a strikeout to end his stint on the mound and the Rockets made it 14-0 with a Durbin RBI double in the home half of the inning.

Lampley came to the hill in the top of the fifth inning and bookended a pair of strikeouts around a fly out to right field to finish up the no-hitter.

“This was big, we are going on the road Thursday to play a really tough team in Lewis County, who played a really close game against Spring Hill on Monday, so we are really excited for the challenge,” Burkett said. “It’s always good to get a win and it was great to open at home with the win and we are going to stay hungry and get after it tomorrow at practice.”

Mt. Pleasant 000 00-0 0 3

Forrest 283 1X-14 10 0

Mt. Pleasant: No hits.

BB: Codell Gilliam, Gavin Whitehead, Chevy Dowell.

CS: Gilliam.

Team LOB: 2

Fielding

E: Gilliam 2, Dowell.

DP: Cummins, Whitehead.

LP: Hayden Holt (2IP, 5H, 10R, 1ER, 3K, 4BB).

Relief: Ben Newland (2IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 0K, 2BB).

Forrest: Riley Durbin 4-for-4, Carter Walk 2-for-3, Austin Lampley 2-for-3, Camden Vaughn 1-for-1, Braden Bowyer 1-for-3.

BB: Vaughn 3, Kain Moses 2, Brennan Mealer.

RS: Durbin 3, Clayton Clark 3, Walk 2, Vaughn, Mealer, Bowyer, Moses, Preston Gentry, Andrew Timmons.

2B: Durbin 2, Bowyer, Walk, Lampley.

RBI: Bowyer 4, Durbin 2, Mealer 2, Lampley 2, Walk.

ROE: Timmons, Walk.

HBP: Gentry.

SB: Durbin, Clark, Timmons, Walk, Moses.

Team LOB: 4

WP: Brennan Mealer (4IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 6K, 3BB).

Relief: Austin Lampley (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2K,

Monday, March 14

At Mt. Pleasant

Forrest 002 660-14 8 0

Mt. Pleasant 000 000-0 4 2

Forrest: Riley Durbin 2-for-4, Camden Vaughn 1-for-3, Brennan Mealer 1-for-4, Braden Bowyer 1-for-3, Carter Walk 1-for-2, Preston Gentry 1-for-2, Austin Lampley 1-for-1.

BB: Lampley 2, Kain Moses, Walk, Gentry, Andrew Timmons.

RS: Lampley 3, Ryan Meglis 3, Walk 2, Timmons 2, Bowyer, Levi Van Patten, Moses, Clayton Clark.

2B: Lampley.

3B: Durbin, Vaughn.

RBI: Vaughn 4, Durbin 3, Gentry 2, Lampley 2, Mealer, Timmons.

SAC: Timmons.

ROE: Durbin, Gentry.

FC: Mealer.

HBP: Vaughn, Bowyer.

SB: Timmons.

Team LOB: 3.

Fielding

DP: Bowyer, Moses.

WP: Preston Gentry 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 5K, 1BB.

Mt. Pleasant: Ben Newland 1-for-2, Holt 1-for-2, Gavin Whitehead 1-for-2, Chevy Odum 1-for-1.

BB: Kobe Dowell.

FC: Odum.

GIDP: Conner Hay

CS: Odum.

Team LOB: 3

Fielding

E: Dowell, Peyton Boshers.

DP: Holt, Codell Gilliam.

LP: Odum.

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