By David Rogers. March 30, 2019. BOONE, NC — Watauga leftfielder Jake McInturff made a diving catch of a line drive in the top of the seventh and Tanner Craft came to the mound in relief to retire three batters, helping the Pioneers to quell a late inning rally by West Caldwell and earn a nervous, 7-6 win over West the Warriors Friday night at Pioneer Park.
Andrew Dye started on the mound for the Pioneers and picked up the win after Watauga jumped out to a 7-1 lead.
The Pioneers capitalized on West Caldwell throwing and fielding errors to jump out to that lead, including back-to-back doubles by Alex Dye and Travis Hamrick in the fifth when the Pioneers pushed their run total to seven.
West Caldwell pulled to just a 7-4 deficit in the sixth inning, then in the seventh Watauga survived a towering two-run home run by the Warriors’ Cy Smith before McInturff’s and Craft’s efforts to save the day.
Watauga is now 7-1 in the Northwestern Conference, 8-4 overall, and tied with South Caldwell atop the standings. The Spartans defeated the other top NWC contender, Alexander Central, 8-3, on Friday after losing a close, 2-0 decision to the Pioneers on Wednesday.
Watauga hosts Alexander Central on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 pm, in a critical contest for the Pioneers in their quest for an NWC championship.
SLIDESHOW by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News