SPORTS BRIEF: Pioneers survive late West Caldwell rally, 7-6

SPORTS BRIEF: Pioneers survive late West Caldwell rally, 7-6
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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

About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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