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April 26, 2013

Meredith powers Rockport in return to the mound

ROCKPORT -- With the Rockport baseball team’s offense scuffling and the Vikings looking to get above .500 for the first time this year, coach John Parisi sent senior captain Tucker Meredith to the mound for the first time this season.

After missing the first three games of the year with illness, though, the senior ace didn’t have the kind of zip that Parisi’s used to seeing.

Visiting Lynnfield plated a run in the top of the first inning before Meredith settled down. That was the last time the Pioneers would cross the plate, though.

Meredith was far from overpowering, striking out just one Lynnfield batter in a complete-game effort. What he was, though, was effective. He pitched to contact, scattering four hits and letting his defense do the work behind him, and the two runs Rockport manufactured in the second inning proved to be enough as the Vikings took home the 2-1 win under the lights at Evans Field.

“He came off the mound in the first inning and said, ‘Coach, I have nothing,’ and I said, ‘Alright, we’ll see what happens but just keep battling out there,’” Parisi said. “He threw strikes. He pounded the strike zone and that’s what we needed him to do.”

With Meredith still feeling the after-effects of a nasty bout of mononucleosis, his offensive teammates didn’t do him any favors, and with Lynnfield pitcher Andrew Carbone matching Meredith pitch-for-pitch, the Vikings’ scuffling offense was thrown farther into its funk.

The Vikings did, however, do enough to win. Adam Balzarini led off the second inning with the first of the Vikings’ three hits, a double down the left field line.

A groundout by Meredith moved Balzarini to third, and a hit-by-pitch sent Caleb Tanson to first base to set up a double steal that plated Balzarini.

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