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Diamond ‘Dogs blank Bucs, move to 4-0

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Roxboro Community School pitcher Grant Meiggs replaced any memories of a rough first outing of the season Saturday with a gem just a few days later.

The sophomore left-hander was dominant as he went six strong innings to lead the Bulldogs past Bartlett Yancey, 5-0, Monday at Optimist Park.

Meiggs gave up just two hits and didn’t allow a Buccaneer base runner to reach scoring position. He was getting all of his pitches over for strikes and entered the fifth inning at just 40 pitches, with only seven balls.

Three of his seven strikeouts were on curveballs that were called third strikes.

It was a far cry from Friday’s start against East Wake Academy where he couldn’t get out of the second inning.

“He struggled a little bit Friday night, but I just told him there’s no pressure, just go out there and be an athlete,” RCS coach Pete Tuck said. “We didn’t correct anything mechanically. That was just a phenomenal performance and that’s what we needed. If he comes around, which I think he has, that gives us another really good pitcher. Our conference has toughened up and we’re going to need him.”

RCS took advantage of two Bartlett Yancey errors in the first inning to race out to a 3-0 lead.

Michael Clayton reached base to lead off the game when his comebacker to pitcher Micah New was bobbled and eventually short-hopped the Bucs’ first baseman. Clayton came around to score when Ian Coleman’s drive to the gap was just beyond the reach of leftfielder Keith Mimms for a double.

Coleman scored two pitches later after an errant throw on a Grant Meiggs’ grounder to short. The Bulldogs padded their early lead on a sacrifice fly by William Leonard.

The top three hitters in the Bulldogs’ order scored all five of their runs and reached base in eight of their 12 plate appearances.

“That’s what we are,” Tuck said. “Our top three, I call them our deer, get on base and I want them to wreak havoc. We’re good enough in the lineup that if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do at the top, the other guys will drive them in. Bryson (Pleasant) stepped right in off the basketball court hot, William’s put in a lot of work. I could say something good about all of them. Some of their averages aren’t very high, but they’re putting a bat on the ball, moving runners along. They’re doing their job.”

RCS stretched its lead with a Colby Rountree bases-loaded walk in the third and an RBI single by Meiggs in the fourth. Pleasant, Josh Wade and L.J. Lunsford each had hits in the win.

The Bulldogs have opened the season 4-0 heading into today’s game against Oxford Prep and are ranked sixth in the initial MaxPreps 1A Adjusted Rankings that are released by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association every Monday during the season. RCS returned almost everyone back from last year’s team and expect to be in the hunt for the North Central Athletic Conference title, and maybe more.

“We definitely don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but I told them the first day of practice, that if we keep our heads screwed on straight, good things could happen,” Tuck said. “April and May good things can happen. I think this could be really special.”

Bulldogs rally past Eagles
in shootout

RCS roared back from a disastrous start to down East Wake Academy, 20-12 in its North Central Athletic Conference opener Friday at home.

The Eagles had a huge 11-2 lead after posting nine runs in the second inning before the Bulldogs answered with six of their own in the bottom of the frame.

East Wake Academy managed just one run for the final five innings, while the Bulldogs’ bats kept cranking. They took the lead for good with four runs in the third and led 18-11 after four innings.

Leonard had a big night at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBIs. Coleman finished with three hits, two doubles and three RBIs. The senior shortstop scored five runs in the win.

Rountree finished 3-for-5 with a double and steadied the game on the mound for RCS after the rocky start. He tossed four innings of relief, surrendering just one run on two hits, while striking out six.

Meiggs was 1-of-4 and drove in three runs, while Clayton, Pleasant, and Lunsford each had a hit.

Josh Wade and Jeremy Tuck each drove in a run.

RCS downs Raleigh Homeschool, 5-4

The Bulldogs rallied late to down Raleigh Homeschool, 5-4 Saturday at home. Raleigh took a 3-0 lead into the bottom half of the fifth inning before the Bulldogs roared back with four runs. Raleigh tied the game in the top of the sixth, but the Bulldogs took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame and got a scoreless seventh from Clayton to secure the win.

Clayton picked up the win in relief of Leonard and gave up one run on three hits, while striking out four. Leonard wasn’t involved in the decision after giving up five hits and no earned runs, while striking out nine.

Coleman, Clayton and Lunsford had two hits each and Meiggs drove in two.

RCS will jump back into NCAC play Wednesday when it challenges Oxford Prep. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Optimist Park. The Bulldogs will face Herndon (Va.) Friday at the Durham Athletic Park in a bit of a reunion game. The Hornets are coached by former Person High School player and JV baseball coach Chris Metz. Herndon is scheduled to play Person Saturday at Rocket Park.

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