By David Rogers. BOONE, N.C. — By the time Watauga 15-and-under all-stars’ Thomas Dieters ripped a double to the left field fence, stole third and later scored a run, it was too little too late on July 6, in Game 1 of the Tar Heel League 15U district all-stars tournament hosted by Watauga High School. The Yancey 15U All Stars got a strong pitching performance from starting righthander Brayden Deyton to keep the Watauga bats all but silenced until Dieters found his groove.
Meanwhile, six walks around a double, three singles and a couple of stolen bases highlighted good offensive production from the Cougars. The Burnsville nine won in run-rule fashion, 13-1.
Eight consecutive batters scored for Yancey County in the Cougars’ 9-run second inning, highlighted by a 2-RBI double off the bat of rightfielder Cason Jones, as well as RBI singles from centerfielder Carter Bennett, shortstop Kohen Fox and leftfielder Malachi Haskins.
For Watauga, Dieters scored in the top of the 4th inning when third baseman Jack Bridgeman punched a sharp single to left centerfield.
Game 2: Mitchell County outlasts Wilkes County, 12-8
A pitcher’s duel seemed to be developing in Game 2 of the Tar Heel League district all-stars tournament on July 6, focused around hurlers Cash Wilmoth of Wilkes County and Riley Silver of Mitchell County. After the first two innings, Mitchell held a 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI-triple by catcher A J Mackey that scored leftfielder and leadoff hitter Noah Vines.
Wilkes’ offense came alive in the top of the third inning, however, scoring three runs in the frame. Second baseman Logan Sharpe led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball, then third baseman Matthew Broda sliced a double to the outfield fence to account for most of the inning’s scoring.
Mitchell knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third, but the Wilkes County hardballers jumped out to a 7-5 lead after four innings. It was a lead that would not hold up, however, as Mitchell County exploded for eight runs in the final two innings to put the game away.
Third baseman Jaxon Rohr went 2-4 for Mitchell, with two singles and scoring two runs. Shortstop Jacoby Dale rapped out three singles in going 3-5 and scoring a run. Wilkes County pitchers allowed 14 walks on the night and hit two batters to help Mitchell put runners on base.
In other age group action:
- Yancey 1 defeated Watauga County, 13-0
- Yancey 2 defeated Ashe County, 14-2
- LOSER’S BRACKET: Watauga def. Ashe, 29-19