Watauga falls to East Rutherford JVs
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
FOREST CITY -- Watauga's baseball team continues to struggle with finding its offense, even against junior varsity teams.
East Rutherford's JVs claimed a 2-1 victory in the first game of the East Rutherford Easter Tournament Monday at McNair Field after holding the Pioneers to just six hits.
Ryder Jones had two of those hits, including a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that prevented Watauga (2-9) from being shut out. East Rutherford pitcher Marcus Ledford struck out eight batters and walked just two.
Watauga plays Gaston Christian (4-8), which lost to East Rutherford's varsity team.
East Rutherford's junior varsity (8-0-2) filled a spot that was supposed to go to Chester, S.C. That team could not make the trip, which forced tournament officials to put East Rutherford's JV team in the tournament.
The JVs did not disappoint themselves or anybody pulling for the underdog. The Cavaliers scored an unearned run on Watauga starter Tyler Jones in the first inning when Cole Baldwin scored on a sacrifice fly by Cameron Hodges. Baldwin reached base because of a Watauga error.
Hodges provided East Rutherford's lone earned run with a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Jones struggled in the first inning by walking one and giving up two singles, but he settled down to pitch a complete game. Jones gave up five hits, walked four and struck out 10.
But Watauga's offense continued to struggle to put key hits together. The Pioneers had runners on second and third with two outs when Jesse Illich reached on an error and Utah Jones doubled, but both runners were left stranded.
Ryder Jones singled and Mason Illich reached base on an error in the third inning, and Carson Isaacs and Utah Jones were in scoring position in the fourth with one out, but all were left stranded. Mason Illich also doubled in the fifth with two outs, but did not score.
Overall, Watauga left eight runners on base, six in scoring position. Ryder Jones went 2-for-4, while Utah Jones was 2-for-2.
East Rutherford JVs 2, Watauga 1
East Rutherford 100 010 0 -- 2 5 2
Watauga 000 000 1 -- 1 6 1
Ledford and Oliver. T. Jones and Sturgill. W--Ledford, L--T. Jones (0-2). LOB--East Rutherford 6, Watauga 8. 2B--Watauga, U. Jones, M. Illich. HR--East Rutherford, Hodges; Watauga, R. Jones. SF--East Rutherford, Hodges. SH--East Rutherford, Toney, Baldwin; Watauga, J. Illich.