Pioneers crush Foard, beat Rockets
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The Pioneers got grand slams from Tyler Sturgill and Ryder Jones on their way to 24-9 beat down of Fred T. Foard at Smith Stadium on the Appalachian State campus. Watauga followed with a 3-2 victory over A.C. Reynolds in a nonconference conclusion of a doubleheader.
Watauga has won seven of its last eight games, and four -- all home games -- in a row. Watauga played its first 13 games of the season on the road because of scheduling and inclement weather in Boone that forced them to play games scheduled at home on the road.
Home has been sweet to Watauga, which is 6-1 in Boone. The only loss was to North Davidson, and the Pioneers have pulled off back-to-back sweeps of doubleheaders after beating Providence twice on April 13.
The Pioneers also have won their last seven games they've played at Smith Stadium dating back to 2011 when they won two playoff games.
Watauga exploded for 12 runs in a third inning that saw them send 16 batters to the plate. The Pioneers got a grand slam from Jones during that inning.
Jones went 5-for-5 with two doubles and his home run. He ended up driving in six runs.
Sturgill went 3-for-5 with five RBIs. Tyler Jones went 2-for-3, was hit by a pitch, walked and scored five runs.
Carson Isaacs drove in a run in the first and a run in the third. Watauga scored four runs in the first inning and four more in the second. Mason Illich had an RBI double in the first.
Watauga turned to pitcher Chance Richards to keep them competitive with A.C. Reynolds, which beat Watauga in the opening game of the season in Asheville. Richards, who struck out six and walked two, pitched the entire game.
Watauga got RBI singles from Ryder Jones and Mason Illich in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Jesse Illich added an RBI on a fielder's choice in the fourth inning.
A.C. Reynolds scored on an RBI double by Bryce Hensley in the second inning and an RBI single by John Nick Setterland in the fifth.
Watauga (10-10, 5-5) hosts Hibriten Tuesday night. The Pioneers also host St. Stephens on Friday in the regular-season finale.