North Allegheny senior Meeker pitches perfect game
North Allegheny senior James Meeker takes life one step at a time.
On April 6, he took things one pitch at a time while throwing the first perfect game of his high school career.
The Tigers blanked Norwin, 12-0, in five innings during a nonsection game. It was Meeker's first outing of the season, and the right-hander went five innings. He threw 50 pitches and struck out two batters.
“It kind of caught me off guard,” said the Wexford resident, who started at third base last year for the Tigers. “I wasn't really trying to do anything special. I just wanted to get that game under my belt and just move on and grow from it. It happened, though.”
Meeker's teammates might have been more nervous than he was. Several infielders, including third baseman Zach Woloscyk, made outstanding defensive plays to keep the clean slate. When Woloscyk caught the final out, everyone breathed easily.
“It wasn't a close game at the time, but because it was a perfect game, everyone was feeling a little bit nervous to try and keep it for him,” coach Andy Maddix said. “When we got the final out, everyone was very excited.”
In addition to his outstanding pitching, Meeker also is a top hitter for the Tigers, with a .476 batting average as of last week.
Meeker credits an ability to stay calm in key situations to his success. Others just call him a good athlete.
“He's also a starter on our basketball team,” Maddix said. “He's had an excellent senior year. He had a really good basketball season, and to come in his first start this year pitching and throw that well, he was very excited.”
Junior catcher Dan Trettell also was a key member of the perfect game while making his first start behind the plate. Trettell's older brother, Pat, also a catcher, played for the Tigers and went on to be named an All-American at Seton Hill but never played in a perfect game.
This might have been the first perfect game in NA baseball, the coach said.
I've been in the program since 1996, and we've never had a perfect game,” Maddix said. “I think that was (the) fourth no-hitter since 1996, but we never had a perfect game. To my knowledge, it's the first perfect game in the program history, too.”
Brittany Goncar is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.