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University High downs Unaka to win Watauga Valley title

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Apr 24, 2018 at 9:38 AM

Cas Blevins was efficient with his pitches and University High used a big fourth inning to wrap up the Watauga Valley Conference baseball championship.

Blevins gave up just five hits and one walk, throwing a total of 79 pitches to lead the Bucs to a 4-0 win over Unaka on Monday evening at Thomas Stadium. All of the Bucs' runs came in the fourth inning.

The Bucs improved to 14-8 overall and 9-0 in the league. The Rangers fell to 16-8 and 7-2.

"You have a goal to win the conference and get that No. 1 seed (in the district tournament)," University High coach Josh Petty said. "Baseball is a funny game and sometimes the best team doesn't win. But, we bumped our out-of-conference schedule up and that's helped us in conference."

As for his success, Blevins just tried to keep it simple.

"I tried not to walk batters and stay ahead on the count," the junior left hander said. "I pounded the strike zone and they put the ball in play, but I have a good defense behind me. I was mad I walked one batter. I didn't try to walk him."

With Blevins on the mound, the Bucs didn't need that much offense.

Brant Hare hit a two-run double to score Carter Pollock and Jack Bembry for the game's first two runs. Hare scored off a throwing error and Hunter Seehorn scored the final run off A.J. Simerly's RBI triple.

Hare talked about seizing the moment against the Unaka defense.

"I saw the left fielder move more toward center so I tried to go down the line with it," Hare said. "At first, I thought it was just a single, then I saw I could make it to second. It all worked out."

University High had only three hits as well, but the Rangers committed five costly errors. It meant John Ramsey suffered the loss despite giving up just two hits and two walks.

Daniel Ensor reached third base in the third inning for Unaka, but the Rangers couldn't come through with any runs. Their next best scoring opportunity was ended in the sixth inning when the ball hit lead-off batter David Ensor as he was running towards second base.

"We had one bad inning and they made a few more plays in the field than we did," Unaka coach Tee Blevins said. "We had a couple of errors where they ended up getting four runs out of. Then, we get a runner on and he gets hit with a line drive in the legs. That's just bad luck."

The teams are scheduled to play again Tuesday afternoon at Unaka.

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