Diamond Elite sweeps mini twin bill from 49ers

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 30, 2019



The opening game of the American Legion baseball season pitted Watauga Post 49 against the Diamond Elite on Tuesday at the T.A. Dugger baseball field. Diamond Elite, behind five runs batted in from Bradley Mutter, prevailed 9-5 and 4-0 in a mini doubleheader that saw five-inning and two-inning games before darkness ended the contest.

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In the opener Watauga got a pair of runs in the top of the first as a single from Jack Ferris combined with a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases and a fielder’s choice grounder from Alex Gouge pushed a run across.

Another run tallied on an infield error for a 2-0 Post 49 lead. The Elite responded with seven runs in the last of the first with the big blow coming on a three-run home run off the bat of Mutter.

“He’s a big boy,” commented Diamond Elite manager Allen Durham. “He hit that ball a long way. It helps your pitchers a lot to get an early lead.

“They can throw more junk and don’t have to worry about throwing strikes so much. You want them to throw strikes but it takes the pressure off them to be fine. They can throw more off-speed stuff.”

D-E (1-0) added a two-RBI single from Ryder Lett and had a bases-loaded RBI walk from Jackson Sheets to make it a 7-2 contest.

Watauga struck for two runs in the second as well with Colby Soloman delivering an RBI double and a second infield error by D-E plated the second run as Post 49 cut the deficit to 7-4.

In the last of the second, a successful double steal stole a run for D-E to make it an 8-4 contest.

Each team scored one more run before time was called after the top of the fifth frame. D.J. Carrier had a sacrifice fly to bring in the ninth run for D-E.

Game two

Diamond Elite…..4

Watauga Post 49.. 0

Matt Durham took the mound for D-E in the second game and he surrendered just two hits – both in the last of the second – before striking out the last two Post 49 hitters to preserve the shutout.

“He is a catcher by trade, but I threw him out there to get some experience on the mound,” said manager Durham. “He threw well, and it was one of his better outings.

“His curveball was working and he’s working on a knuckler that floated up there a couple of times. Work in progress.”

Mutter delivered a two-run single in the top of the first and Carter Collins had an RBI hit as well as D-E built a four-run cushion.

The next set of games slated for T.A. Dugger will be Thursday when the Warriors take on D-E at 5:30 pm.

Game One

Diamond Elite 9-5

Watauga Post 49    221 00 – 5 6 2

Diamond Elite          711 0x – 7 6 2

W – Nic Gobble

L – Bryce Soloman

Game Two

Diamond Elite 4-0

Diamond Elite       40 – 4 2 0

Watauga Post 49  00 – 0 2 0

W – Durham L – Jonah Hubbard