The Watauga Junior American Legion A Team split its double-header with the Watauga B Team Saturday night at Pioneer Field.
The B Team (2-6 in the Northwestern Junior American Legion Division; 2-8 overall) won game one 2-0; The A Team (5-5; 5-7) won game two 12-2 in four innings by the ten-run mercy rule.
Hunter Isaacs backboned the B Team in game one. The rising freshman threw a complete game, struck out four and gave up on hit---a double to Jesse Illitch in the second inning. Matt Lambert and Adam Greene each drove in a run for the B Team.
"Isaacs did a great job keeping the ball down," said A Team coach Bradley Rudisill. "He really kept us off balance. We couldn't figure him out. He threw a heck of a game."
Hunter Isaacs helped his own cause with a hit, he scored a run and he had a stolen base; Trevor Eggers walked and had a stolen base; Steadman Sauls, Carson Isaacs, and Dakota McCrary all went 1-2.
Tripp Taylor took the loss in the opener. He gave up two runs on three hits and struck out five in four innings; Mason Illitch finished up with a scoreless frame in the fifth. He also had two strikeouts.
In game two, the A Team exploded for five runs in the first inning. Taylor Shuford, who has put together a solid summer campaign, was at it again. Shuford had a three-run homer, he tripled and scored three times. Jake Cody had two hits, including a triple and scored twice; Tyler Sturgill was 2-2 with two runs scored and two RBI. Mason Illitch doubled and scored twice.
Chance Richards got the win in game two. He went four innings, did not give up an earned run and struck out three. Hunter Isaacs went 1-2 with a run scored and an RBI for the B Team; Andy Raymonds and Ryan Church each had a hit, and Tyler Nigro scored a run.
"We've got some good athletes that could be something special in a couple of years," said B Team coach Dustin Kerley. "And these kids have gotten a chance to play a lot of baseball this summer. I'm really impressed with Taylor Shuford. He's really had a heck of a summer.
"He's always in the weight room, and he's of our strongest player on the baseball team right now."
Both the A Team and the B Team have busy weeks coming up as the regular season winds down. The A Team plays a make-up game at Hibriten Monday night at 6 pm (the game was rained out June 21). The B Team entertains the South Caldwell A Team at Pioneer Field.
The B Team plays a make-up game Tuesday at home against the South Caldwell B Team at 5 pm (that game was rained out June 21); and both teams wrap up the season on Wednesday. The A Team travels to Sawmills to play the South Caldwell B Team at 5 pm. The B Team plays its season finale at home against Hibriten at 6 pm (that game was rained out June 18).
TILLER COMES UP A LITTLE SHORT
Jamal Tiller of the Appalachian State University track team fell just one-half inch short of reaching the finals in the triple jump Saturday at the USA Track & Field Junior Nationals in Eugene, Ore.
The top eight advance to the finals. Tiller finished ninth with an effort of 48-feet, 8 1/4 inches. Karique Stephens of the Dave Bethany Track Club finished eighth with an effort of 48-8 3/4.
Tiller, a freshman, turned in a strong outdoor season in the spring. He picked up all-Southern Conference honors by finishing third in the triple jump. His best effort of the year for the Mountaineers came at the North Florida Invitational, where he had an effort of 49-00.75.
Deji Adeneye was 23rd with an effort of 45-3. The top two finishers in each event at Junior Nationals will be invited to compete as members of Team USA at the Pan-American Games, July 22-24 in Miramar, Fla.