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Originally published: 2014-04-24 14:30:34
Last modified: 2014-04-24 14:30:34

Watauga's baseball team overwhelms Rocky Mount Prep

by Staff Reports

TARBORO -- Watauga's baseball team would not open the Tarboro Easter Tournament with an embarrassing loss this year.


In fact, it was exactly the opposite of what happened in 2013 when Watauga played in the East Rutherford Easter Tournament. This year, Watauga overwhelmed Rocky Mount Prep 18-0 in the first round of the Tarboro Easter Tournament played at Memorial Stadium Thursday.


The game was cut short after 2 ½ innings because of the mercy rule. The head coaches from each team met with the umpire before Watauga was slated to bat in the bottom of the third inning.


Last season, the Pioneers lost 2-1 to the East Rutherford junior varsity team in the opening round of the East Rutherford tournament. Watauga went on to win the next two games, but the sting of a varsity team losing to a JV team does not go away easily.


A second upset of the Pioneers was not going to happen on Thursday Watauga's offense was relentless thanks to its own hitting and some gifts from Rocky Mount Prep, a first-year program loaded with freshmen and sophomore players.


Rocky Mount Prep, which plays in the 1-A Two Rivers Conference, slipped to 0-10 for the season.


Watauga sent 12 batters to the plate in the first against Rocky Mount Prep starter Percy Harper. Matt Lambert hit a two-run double, and Hunter Isaacs added a two-run triple, which gave the Pioneers a 6-0 lead.


Colby Illich, in his second at-bat of the inning, added an RBI single to give Watauga a 7-0 lead.


The Pioneers were only warming up. Watauga followed with a 11-run second inning that saw them send 17 batters to the plate, which put the Pioneers in front 18-0.


Watauga starter Jesse Illich was working on a no-hitter until the game was ended in the third inning. He struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced.


Watauga plays against Tarboro at 7 p.m. Should Watauga win, it will play in the tournament finals tomorrow.