‘Landers miscues aid North Greene win

Published 8:59 am Thursday, March 21, 2019

Seven Cloudland errors allowed North Greene to plate nine runs on Tuesday as the Huskies routed the Highlanders 12-3 in Watauga Valley Conference baseball action. Dillon Johnson pitched well over his five innings of mound work striking out six and walking three.

He surrendered six runs with just three earned and manager Cory Rhodes said of his day, “He is our go-to guy and he rolls we roll. Other coaches know that when he’s on the mound they have to bring their ‘A’ game.”

North Greene scored three in the top of the first on three hits with Caden Foulks, Jonah Palmer, and Micah Jones all delivering run-scoring hits. Cloudland (0-8, 0-2 WVC) responded with two runs in the last of the first as first baseman Collin Morgan walked to lead off the frame.

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He was erased at second on a fielder’s choice and Johnson popped out to second but Jordan Coffey and Brayden Christman both singled to load the bases. Second baseman Hunter Blair then singled home two runs to cut the deficit to one run.

Johnson and Huskies starting pitcher Foulks each turned in scoreless frames in the second and third, but in the fourth, three ‘Landers errors allowed as many North Greene runs with Foulks driving in two with the only hit of the inning as the Huskies took a 6-2 advantage.

“We make the diving over the shoulder catch, but the ground ball right to us we want to boot it,” Rhodes said, “They have some speed which puts more pressure on you, and when you make those mistakes it gives the other team a couple of runs and that’s all a good team needs.”

Johnson pitched a scoreless fifth before giving way to Josh Stevens in the sixth, and he held the fort, and the teams went into the seventh with the score still standing at 6-2. In the last frame, however, the wheels came off the wagon as three more errors allowed the floodgates to open and North Greene plated six runs to make it a 12-2 contest.

The Huskies got no hits in the rally but the errors along with two walks and a hit batter were enough for the speedy Huskies to circle the bases and score. To their credit, the ‘Landers battled in the last of the seventh, scoring one run on a two-out RBI single from Morgan, which plated Blair who singled to open the inning.

Blair finished the day 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI for Cloudland.

North Greene 12-3

North Greene      300 030 6 – 12 7 0

Cloudland            200 000 1 –   3 5 7

W – Foulks L – Johnson