Jacob Meador is saving his best to last in Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox win

By on August 3, 2021 0

SOUTH YARMOUTH – Jacob Meador saved the best for last. The TCU right-handed pitcher earned his second Cape Cod Baseball League victory of the season on Monday, setting a season high with six innings pitched and eight strikeouts as the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox beat the Chatham Anglers 8-1 at Red Wilson Field.

For Meador, the outing was the culmination of a season of work.

“I just wanted to do a good job, find myself and come back to what I was,” Meador said. “I was just going to go over there and give everything I had until someone came and got me out of the mound.”

Meador came to YD like a puzzle. He had only made three appearances as a true freshman in 2020, his first college season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, and then as a freshman in a red shirt only pitched 10 times at the over a 60-game season.

His 2021 stats with a 1-1 record, 5.68 earned run average and 24 strikeouts in 19 innings reflected a pitcher transitioning to Division I level.

“He didn’t have a big role for them, because he was inconsistent,” said YD manager Scott Pickler. “They said he has a good arm, and let’s see where it goes from there. Let’s see if he can develop something, and I think he’s done a good job with that this summer.

It took a while for Meador to find his place in the Cape League as well. He allowed points in five of his first six appearances, only pitching a clean set in a July 16 game against Bourne.

It was a turning point, and it’s been solid since then. He threw a four-innings shutout against Harwich on July 19, then pitched a solid 3.2 innings against Brewster on July 25, helping the Red Sox bond against both teams heading to the East Division playoffs.

Such performances were signs of Meador’s physical and mental improvement throughout the summer.

“They wanted me to find myself just as a pitcher,” Meador said. “Not as much as a starter or a lifter or whatever – they just wanted me to end up on the mound again.”

It all finally fell into place on Monday night. Meador allowed four hits and a walk, his only mistake being a second inning, Chatham’s Lyle Miller-Green (George Mason), one of the league’s top heavy hitters, broke through the fence for a home run. solo and a 1-0 lead.

YD tied the game in the lower half of the set, and Meador and his offense went from there. Brooks Lee (Cal Poly) gave his team the lead in earnest with a two-run homerun in the third, and the Red Sox added runs in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings.

Tanner Smith (Oregon) hit a solo homerun for YD and was 3-for-3 with three runs batted in and two runs scored.

“I was just fighting,” Smith said. “We had a lot of runs today with two strikeouts which was really good.”

SOUTH YARMOUTH 02/08/21 Tanner Smith of the Yarmouth Red Sox-Dennis ducks under the pick off throw at Danny Serretti of the Chatham Anglers.

Meador eventually gave way to closer CJ Culpepper (California Baptist), who made his fourth save of the summer with three relief shutouts. Meador’s lowered his ERA to 3.62, while Culpepper’s is 1.72.

Meador’s success has come from a mix of fastballs, curveballs, and changes.

“I didn’t have a broken bullet when I got here in Cape Town,” Meador said. “I’ve worked on it a lot, I use it a lot more, and it’s been very effective for me since I got it.”

Meador’s summer looks a lot more like what you would expect for one of Texas’ top pitchers as a 2019 senior at Burleson Centennial High School, located about 45 miles southwest of Dallas. He led the State at bat that year and graduated as his program record holder in several categories, including single-season strikeouts (179), wins (14) and MPM (0.61).

“I started to pitch a lot harder, developed two more pitchers that I could use and overall I became a more mature pitcher,” said Meador.

His efforts as a junior earned him a spot on Team USA for the Pan American U-18 Championship as a junior, where he won a gold medal, as well as consecutive All-American honors.

“It was once in a lifetime,” Meador said. “It was unreal. There is nothing better than putting on a jersey that says ‘USA’ on the front.”

The Seattle Mariners even pulled Meador out of high school in 2019, taking him to Round 31, but he opted for college instead. It continued a legacy that included both his parents, his father Paul playing baseball in Oklahoma State and his mother Kellye playing softball in Texas-Arlington.

Meador is only two months away from turning 21 and becoming draft-eligible.

If his next college season looks like his season in Cape Town, his next Major League Baseball Draft entry could be even better than in 2019.

“I’m going to be grateful that I was able to come here and be myself, become who I am as a pitcher again,” Meador said. “Our coaches were great, worked with us every day. They all really cared about us, tried to improve us and it was a really great experience.

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