Watauga's baseball team plays first playoff game at McDowell
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga's baseball team will open the state 4-A playoffs at McDowell at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Watauga (13-13), the No. 2 seed from the Northwestern Conference, goes into the game perhaps playing its best baseball of the season. The Pioneers swept through the Northwestern Conference Tournament by winning three straight games against teams that beat them twice each during the regular season.
Watauga, after beating Patton 4-3 in nine innings, went on to blank Fred T. Foard 7-0. In two regular season games against Foard, Watauga did not score a run.
The Pioneers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat regular season champion South Caldwell 6-3 to grab the tournament title.
Hunter Isaacs is expected to get the start against McDowell, which used to be a member of the NWC. Isaacs pitched eight innings of relief, and then hit the game-winning home run in the Pioneers' victory over Patton.
McDowell (12-9) is the No. 2 seeded team in the Mountain Athletic Conference. The Titans get to host the game because they have a better record than the Pioneers.
The teams have not played each other since 2009.
McDowell has lost its last three games, two of them to T.C. Roberson in a three-game MAC tournament series.