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University High has no trouble with Highlanders

Douglas Fritz • Apr 1, 2014 at 10:53 PM

University High could have been caught in a cat-nap situation, but instead the Buccaneers took things seriously and went about their baseball business.

With the odd statistic of 30 baserunners and only eight official at-bats where outs were recorded, UH pounded Cloudland 20-0 in a Watauga Valley Conference game Tuesday at Thomas Stadium.

UH had 15 hits, received 10 walks, got hit by pitches twice, reached on a error three times, had three sacrifice flies, and added one sacrifice bunt. The Bucs improved to 3-3 in league play and 5-6 overall.

(For Twitter videos of the game, and a post-game interview with Logan Metcalf, follow Douglas Fritz on Twitter @FritzBlitzzz).

On Monday in Roan Mountain, the Bucs took the first of the two-game series with an 11-1 decision. They could have taken the winless Highlanders lightly in the rematch, but instead were patient at the plate.

“It was really hard, but we tried to come in like it was against North Greene,” said Metcalf, who had a three-RBI performance. “We wanted to come in and play as hard as we could. We got an eye on the ball and started to hit.”

One of the highlights of the game was Metcalf’s inside-the-park home run. He slashed a line-drive-would-be double to right-center field and it got to the fence. With the generous amount of turf at Thomas Stadium, Metcalf went wheels up around the bases — much to the delight of his teammates.

It was that kind of day for the Bucs, who listened to the advice of head coach Josh Petty.

“We’ve been preaching that we’ve got to keep the ball below our hands,” said Petty. “We want hard ground balls and line drives.”

UH got those early and often. The Bucs plated seven first-inning runs as Nick Sewell started things with a leadoff triple. Ben Jackson drove him in, and Dayshawn Hamilton later added an RBI single.

Skylar Miller added an RBI hit, and Luke Willoughby plated two runs with a single.

In the third inning, UH struck for a five spot. Metcalf and Andrew Bishop drove in runs with sacrifice flies, and Nick Walley had a two-run single.

In a seven-run fourth inning, Jordan Sell had a two-run double while Brent Fields added an RBI double.

Hamilton finished with three hits while Miller and Metcalf had two apiece.

On the mound, Jackson (2-1) was steady for three innings and earned the win. He allowed three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

After a pair of league setbacks to North Greene, UH has won three of four conference games. The Bucs step outside of the league and play host to Johnson County on Thursday, and then meet Happy Valley in a doubleheader Friday with all of those games at Thomas Stadium.

“It will be simple baseball,” said Petty. “The pitchers need to throw strikes, we need to make the routine plays, and we need timely hits.”

Noah Arnett had a double to pace Cloudland.

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