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Originally published: 2014-03-01 23:38:30
Last modified: 2014-03-03 11:41:30

Hoops players pitch Pioneers past Alexander Central

by Staff Reports

Watauga's baseball team raided the school's boys' basketball team for pitchers Saturday.


Matt Lambert and Utah Jones combined to pitch the final two innings in Watauga's 6-5 win over Alexander Central Saturday in Taylorsville.


On Thursday, Hunter Isaacs answered was not perfect on the mound in Watauga's 8-6 victory at A.C. Reynolds at Davis Field, but he was good enough to put the Pioneers (2-0) in a position to win the game.


Both Jones and Lambert played in the third round of the state 4-A basketball playoffs Friday night at Greensboro Page. Jones picked up the save against Alexander Central, while Lambert was the set-up pitcher.


Jesse Illich was the starter and pitched into the fourth inning. He gave up three runs, two of them earned, and three hits. He struck out three batters, walked one and hit two with pitches.


Jones gave up a leadoff single, but retired the next three batters to pick up the save against the Cougars.


Lambert pitched two scoreless innings. He struck out two, while walking four, although one of those walks was intentional. He also gave up a double.


Alexander Central did not help itself by committing five errors.  They allowed the Pioneers to shake off an early deficit to take a 6-2 lead.


Lambert singled, which was followed by a hit batsman and a single by Colby Illich with one out. After an Alexander Central error and a two-run single by Carson Isaacs gave Watauga a 3-2 lead.


Isaacs drew a base-loaded walk to give the Pioneers a 4-2 lead.


Steadman Sauls led off the third inning with a double, which is followed by two Alexander Central errors gave the Pioneers a 5-2 lead. Isaacs added a sacrifice fly in the inning to put Watauga in front 6-2.


Adam Greene was 2-for-4 from the plate. The Pioneers finished with six hits.


Alexander Central took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Riley Smith hit a two-run home run. Smith went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and three RBIs overall. Mason Stikeleather was 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI.


Isaacs kept the Pioneers competitive against A.C. Reynolds by pitching 4 1/3 innings on a chilly afternoon. He gave up five earned runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out three.


Jeffrey Gainey took it from there by throwing 1 1/3 of scoreless relief to pick up the save.