Craft named all-NWC

Watauga’s Tanner Craft was named to the All-Northwestern Conference team.

HICKORY — Watauga placed five players on the All-Northwestern Conference baseball team, which was released May 20.

Shortstop Tanner Craft, third baseman and pitcher Andrew Dye, centerfielder Anderson Castle, first baseman and pitcher Travis Hamrick and catcher Alex Dye were named to the team.

Watauga finished 10-15 in the regular season, 9-5 in the NWC. The Pioneers reached the first round of the state playoffs, but lost to A.C. Reynolds 7-2.

Craft, a junior who also pitched, led off the batting order, hit .288 and scored a team-high 19 runs. Andrew Dye, a senior, finished the season with a 2-4 record, but finished the season with a 3.74 ERA in 11 appearances. Dye, who signed to play college baseball at Lenoir-Rhyne, struck out 59 batters and walked 24.

Castle, a junior, hit .339 with 12 RBIs. He also struck out nine and walked nine batters when pitching in relief.

Hamrick, when healthy, was dominant while pitching. A junior, Hamrick opened the season by tossing a four-inning no-hitter against West Caldwell and followed with a complete-game no-hitter against McDowell.

Hamrick, a junior, gave up just one run and three hits in five appearances. He battled a sore arm for half the season, but managed to play first, second and third base during the entire season.

Alex Dye, a senior, hit .231 with 11 RBIs. He had six doubles, and while pitching in relief, Dye had an ERA of 3.50.

South Caldwell (22-6, 12-2 NWC), the NWC regular-season champion, placed nine players on the All-NWC team, including Pitcher of the Year Clay Canale.

League runner-up Alexander Central (23-8, 11-3) put eight players on the team, including Player of the Year Byron Younts. South Caldwell coach Jeff Parham and Alexander Central coach Pete Hardee were co-Coaches of the Year.

Freedom put three players on the team, while McDowell and Hickory each put two. St. Stephens and West Caldwell each placed one.

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