Providence sneaks past Watauga 5-3
by Staff Reports
CHARLOTTE -- Watauga's baseball team will remember Providence outfielder Josh Hiatt, and not necessarily in a fond way.
Hiatt provided a key home run for Providence, and then robbed Watauga of a potentially game-tying hit. Those plays allowed Providence to hold on for a 5-3 victory over the visiting Pioneers Saturday.
Hiatt cracked a solo home run in the third inning that broke a 2-2 tie and put the Panthers in front to stay.
But it was his catch of a Matt Lambert line drive in the fifth inning in the outfield that kept Providence in front 4-3. Watauga was trailing 4-2 with two outs when Providence pitcher hit Utah Jones with a pitch.
Jones stole second base, and then scored on a Carson Isaacs single to bring the Pioneers to within 4-3. Hunter Isaacs walked, which brought Lambert to the plate.
Lambert belted a line drive when Hiatt chased it down for the third out of the inning.
Providence added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Jason Garfinkel, who was pinch-hitting for Matt Ball.
Jones went 2-for-3 from the plate. He also stole three bases and drove in a run.
Tyler Nigro went four innings in his first start of the season. He gave up four runs, including the home run to Hiatt. Of the other three runs he gave up, just two of them were earned.
Hunter Isaacs pitched the final two innings for the Pioneers. Isaacs, who is nursing a pulled pectoral muscle, gave up three hits and struck out three Panthers.
Isaacs also drove in the Pioneers' first run of the game. Jesse Illich and Jones both singled in the first inning. Illich moved to third on a Carson Isaacs fly ball, and scored on Hunter Isaacs's single.
Jones added another Watauga run with an RBI single in the third inning.
Watauga, which was coming off a disappointing 5-0 loss to Fred T. Foard in Northwestern Conference play Friday, returns to the league schedule on Tuesday when the Pioneers play at Freedom.