THOMASVILLE — Watauga’s middle school baseball team beat Ledford 5-2 on May 1.
Watauga improved to 10-2 this season, while Ledford slipped to 11-4.
Watauga opened the game by scoring two runs in the first inning. Maddox Greene singled, stole second and reached third on a Ledford error. Jake Henderson then walked and stole second, giving Watauga runners on third and on second base.
Jacob Dilley struck out, but the third strike was dropped and Dilley went to first base. Greene scored on the throw to first base trying to get Dilley, while Henderson advanced to third. Henderson scored on a fielder’s choice by Tristan Salinas.
Ledford scored its first run in the bottom of the first inning to pull to 2-1. Neither team could push a run across the plate until the sixth inning, when Greene singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Henderson reached first on a bunt single, which moved Greene to third. Henderson stole second base and Dilley walked to load the bases. Matthew Hamrick walked, which drove in Greene, but no other Watauga batter reached base, leaving Watauga in front 3-1.
Ledford loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning and nearly took the lead on what looked like it would be a grand slam.
Salinas, playing left field, chased the ball down and made a running catch at the fence to keep the ball in the park and get Watauga out of the inning.
Watauga added two runs in the top of the seventh inning. J.T. Cook led the inning off with a walk. His pinch runner, Lex Washburn, reached second base on a wild pitch and a Colin Phelps single moved Washburn to third base. Washburn scored on an error on a ball hit by Greene.
Greene tried to steal second base, but got caught in a rundown, which allowed Phelps to score, giving Watauga a 5-1 lead. Ledford scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Watauga survived the rest of the inning to grab the win.
Salinas, Watauga’s starting pitcher, allowed one run on three hits and two walks. Dilley came on in relief and went five innings. He yielded one run on one hit, walked seven and struck out eight.
Watauga’s doubleheader scheduled against Asheville Christian Academy May 4 was cancelled.