Pioneers let Davie County off the hook
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
MOCKSVILLE — Watauga’s baseball team could not keep a lead for the third time in five games.
On a chilly night that ended with the temperature at 40 degrees, Watauga took a 6-0 lead, but ended up falling to Davie County 7-6 in 10 innings. Watauga slipped to 1-4 overall. In three of those losses, Watauga has held leads.
Chance Richards kept an explosive Davie County offense in check for most of his five innings on the mound. Richards gave up just two runs, both in the fifth inning.
Watauga claimed a 6-0 lead after four innings, but did not score a run the rest of the game. The Pioneers did not help themselves by hitting into four double plays throughout the game.
Watauga had a chance to take the lead when Ryder Jones tried to score on a Tyler Sturgill single in the eighth inning, but was thrown out at home by Davie County center fielder Karch Arey to end the threat.
Davie County won the game in the bottom of the ninth inning when Mason Illich’s diving attempt on a Charlie Muchoroty’s line drive to left field got past Illich. It allowed Luke Martin to score from first base.
Davie County (5-0) benefitted from six Watauga errors and nine walks. Four Davie County batters who walked scored a run. All three of Davie County’s runs in the seventh inning, when the War Eagles tied the game 6-6 and sent it into extra innings, were unearned.
Arey, hitting lead-off, walked three times and scored twice.
Watauga finished with 12 hits, including three each from Tyler Jones and Mason Illich. Both scored runs in the first inning after Ryder Jones hit into a fielder’s choice and Tyler Sturgill hit an RBI single.
Richards drove in a run in the second and Illich scored a run in the third on an error on a strike out. Watauga had the bases loaded in the third inning with one out, but hit into another double play.
Watauga also hit into double plays in the seventh and eighth innings.
Illich and Jones added RBI singles in the fourth inning to give the Pioneers a 6-0 lead.
Davie County got an RBI double from Garrett Nestor and an unearned run in the fifth. Matt Vernon had an RBI single in the sixth and three runs in the seventh.
Watauga faces a key showdown at Alexander Central Friday night. Watauga’s game with Mount Tabor on Saturday was moved to Winston-Salem because of Watauga’s wet field.
Davie County 7, Watauga 6 (10)
Watauga 211 200 000 0 — 6 12 6
Davie County 000 021 301 1 — 7 11 3
Richards, Taylor (6), T. Jones (6), R. Jones, U. Jones and Sturgill. Walker, Jones (5), Wolfe (9) and Nestor. W—Wolfe, L—U. Jones. LOB—Watauga 10, Davie County 16. 2B—Watauga, R. Jones; Davie County, Nestor, Muchorty. SH—Watauga, Richards. SB—Watauga, Jones; Davie County, Beeson. DP—Davie County 4.