Hickory's baseball team trip Watauga 7-2
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
HICKORY -- After playing a solid week of baseball, Watauga went back to some bad habits Thursday night.
The Pioneers didn't make a lot of errors in their 7-2 loss to Hickory at Washam field. It was the timing of the errors that proved costly.
The loss means Watauga (10-12, 4-9 Northwestern Conference) will play on the road in the first round of the NWC tournament. Watauga, seeded sixth, plays at No. 3 seed Patton on Tuesday night. It's the first time Watauga will open the NWC tournament on the road since 2002.
Watauga, which saw its three-game winning streak end, hosts South Caldwell at 6:30 p.m. today.
Watauga made two costly errors in the bottom of the fourth inning that gave the Red Tornadoes a 2-1 lead. Watauga managed to tie the game when pinch-hitter Andy Critcher scored on a wild pitch, but Hickory retook the lead 3-2 on an RBI single by Coan McAlpine in the bottom of the fifth.
McAlpine went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, a double and a run scored.
Hickory added four runs on four singles -- all with two outs -- in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Matt Lambert belted a home run in the fourth inning to put the Pioneers in front 1-0. It was one of just four hits the Pioneers would get.