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Originally published: 2013-03-17 01:05:52
Last modified: 2013-03-17 01:05:52

Watauga belts Mount Tabor

by Staff Reports

WINSTON-SALEM -- Watauga's baseball team shook off a slow start and claimed an 8-4 victory over Mount Tabor Saturday at Carl Sapp Field.

Watauga (2-5), still smarting from a disappointing 3-2 loss to Alexander Central one night earlier, banged out 14 hits against Mount Tabor (1-6), which beat Watauga earlier in the season.

Since then, Mount Tabor, which reached the state 4-A western regional finals last season, has lost five straight.

The Pioneers improved on their offense by making an adjustment at the top of the batting order. Watauga coach Pete Hardee moved Ryder Jones to second in the order from third.

Mason Illich was moved from second to third. He went 2-for-4 from the place with a double, and RBI and scored a run.

Jones, who has been intentionally walked against Hickory and Davie County, smacked a towering two-run home run that hit the goal post on the football field that is located just beyond right field.

Jones hit his home run in the third inning, which cut Mount Tabor's lead to 4-2. Watauga added three runs in the fourth inning. Tyler Sturgill drove in two of them with a single that gave Watauga a 5-4 lead.

Sturgill also hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning. The Pioneers added another run in the inning to give them a 8-4 lead.

Jones and Sturgill hit the Pioneers' first home runs of the season.

Sturgill went 3-for-4 from the plate. Leadoff hitter Tyler Jones also went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

Jesse Illich was 3-for-3 from the plate for the Pioneers.

Tripp Taylor gave up four runs in the first, but did not allow any runs until he left the game in the fifth inning. Taylor allowed seven hits and four walks, but also struck out four batters.

Andrew Miller did not allow a run when he pitched the final three innings.

The Pioneers are scheduled to host arch-rival South Caldwell in Boone on Tuesday. It remains to be seen if Watauga's field will be playable by Tuesday night.

Watauga's junior varsity beat Mount Tabor 5-3 in the eighth inning. Matt Lambert hit a two-run home run in the eighth to provide the victory.

It's the junior varsity's second straight victory.