Rising senior Utah Jones of the Watauga High baseball team has been selected to play in the Powerade State Games of North Carolina in Charlotte, June 18-22.
Jones will be WHS' lone representative on the Region 7 team. He's also the first WHS player to participate in the state games since Tyler Jones last played in 2012. Utah Jones is coming off a solid junior year.
He was third on the team in hitting with a .290 batting average with a home run and 14 runs-batted-in (third highest on the team). He had a team-high ten stolen bases, and he led the Pioneers with four triples. He was also second on the team in runs scored with 13.
Jones was also one of WHS' top pitchers in 2014. He was 3-5 with a team-leading two saves and a team-best 2.37 earned-run-average. He gave up 17 earned runs in 50.1 innings with 36 strikeouts and 12 walks. And Jones, who made a team-leading 15 appearances, was 2-0 in the post-season.
He was the winning pitcher in the Northwestern 3A-4A Conference championsnhip game, and he picked up the win in relief in WHS' first-round state playoff game against McDowell. In three post-season appearances, Jones was practically untouchable. He gave up four runs, two earned, in 14.2 innings for a sparkling 0.98 ERA.
The Region 7 team will be coached Robert Little of Lake Norman High School. He'll be assisted by Terry Johnson of Wilkes Central, Denny Key of Forbush, and Matt Scott of Surry Central. Region 7 begins pool play against Region 1 (from northeastern North Carolina) on Thursday, June 19 at 10 a.m., at BB&T Field in Charlotte.
The medal round games will be played at UNC-Charlotte on Sunday, June 22; the consolation games will be played at Hopewell High School that day.