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Degennaro, Bucs wrap up Watauga Valley title

Johnson City Press • Updated Apr 16, 2019 at 11:07 PM

BAILEYTON—University High pitcher Michael Degennaro achieved workhorse status on Tuesday.

Going the distance in a nine-inning contest, Degennaro racked up 13 strikeouts and finished with a five-hitter as the visiting Buccaneers got past North Greene 2-1 to clinch the Watauga Valley Conference baseball championship.

"Deg was spinning it well and keeping guys off balance in any count,” said Bucs coach Josh Petty. “He threw an absolute gem today."

Degennaro plunked one batter, but issued no walks in a 110-pitch outing.

“I knew there was a lot of pressure, especially going into the extra innings,” Degennaro said, “but I told myself remain calm and command the zone like I was in the early innings. I did not let doubts or fears take ahold of me and that ultimately led to our victory.”

UH, which improved to 9-0 in conference play and 14-8 overall, prevailed on Esau Byrd’s one-out, bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Brant Hare, who began the top of the ninth with a single, accounted for the tie-breaking run.

With the Bucs held to five hits by Cayden Foulks, stellar pitching was in full supply. Foulks, who absorbed the loss, was one out from a complete-game victory when Carter Pollock doubled in the seventh. Pollock advanced to third on a Byrd base hit, then scored on an infield error to make it 1-all on the scoreboard.

Foulks worked into the ninth, surrendering one earned run and totaling six Ks before giving way to Chance Campbell for the final three UH outs.

Brayden Garber batted 2 for 3 to pace North Greene’s bats. Campbell was 2 for 4 as the Huskies dropped to 5-4, 15-7.

Degennaro accounted for a pair of sacrifices, with one coming in the ninth to advance Hare and Kaleb Meredith, who had been hit by a pitch, to third and second base, respectively. From there, Campbell intentionally walked Pollock.

Sullivan South 10, Johnson County 2

MOUNTAIN CITY—Chase Bowers doubled, tripled, totaled three RBIs and pitched a complete game for the Rebels, who put away the Longhorns with a seven-run seventh inning.

Bowery allowed his only two runs in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up eight hits and notched a half-dozen strikeouts against one walk.

Jeffery Leonard added two hits and a pair of runs for South, which got two RBIs and a pair of stolen bases from Eli Jennings.

The Longhorns were spearheaded by Asa Lewis and Weston Throop each going 2 for 3.

Sullivan North 15-16, Cloudland 2-2

ROAN MOUNTAIN—Recording eight strikeouts, Braydon Wilhoit picked up his sixth win in the opening game of a Watauga Valley twin-bill. Tyler Depriest, Wilhoit, Dale Potter, Hunter Dingus, Zach Scott and Tyler Bowman all had two hits for the Golden Raiders.

The nightcap featured three-hit performances from Tyler Depriest and Chandler Raleigh, with WIlhoit adding two hits. Dingus struck out 10 batters in getting the job done from the mound.

The Highlanders’ Collin Morgan swatted his second home run of the season.

Unaka 12, Hampton 0

HAMPTON—The Bulldogs managed just three hits off John Ramsey, who racked up 12 strikeouts against one walk over five innings.

Bryson Street had two hits, including a double, in a four-RBI effort, and Daniel Ensor drove in two runs.

Hampton committed eight infield errors. Starting pitcher Morgan Lyons yielded eight runs in 2 2/3 innings, but none were earned.

Correction from Monday

Unaka 15, Hampton 10

The Rangers built an 11-2 lead and then held on as the Bulldogs made a tough comeback.

Reid Taylor and Nolan Bradley each drove in three runs for the Rangers. Bryson Street and Nick Nunley each totaled two RBIs. Davy Ensor and John Ramsey each totaled two hits.

For Hampton, Weston Street went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Morgan Lyons had a double and two runs batted in.

SOFTBALL

Daniel Boone 8, Volunteer 0

One of four Lady Trailblazers showing offensive excellence, Dannah Persinger went 3 for 3 with two doubles and a pair of runs.

Greyson Stevens batted 3 for 3 with a double and two runs, with Brylee Mesusan’s four at-bat day consisting of three hits, including a triple, two runs, two stolen bases and a pair of RBIs. Jaycie Jenkins accounted for two triples, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs in a 2-for-3 effort.

Megan Ackerman hurled a complete-game shutout, amassing eight strikeouts against one walk. She held the Lady Falcons to four hits.

Sullivan East 10, Happy Valley 0

ELIZABETHTON—Unloading a grand slam, Kylee Wolfe turned in a five-RBI performance for the Lady Patriots.

Wolfe batted 1 for 1, adding a sacrifice fly. She also hurled a five-inning shoutout, yielding four hits, striking out three batters and walking one.

Cayden Bawgus drove in a pair of runs and Emma Timbs doubled for the Lady Patriots. Happy Valley’s Macy Puckett batted 2 for 2.

Unicoi County 11, Sullivan South 1

ERWIN—With Cassie Selvage going 4 for 4, the Lady Blue Devils cut loose for 16 hits over four innings of offensive work.

Selvage had two RBIs and also scored twice. Halie Hawkins, who went 3 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs, and Ashtan Vance, 2 for 2 with two runs, both homered. Hawkins also doubled and swiped two bases.

Chloe Powers finished at 2 for 4 and Allee Griffith went five solid innings from the circle, totaling five strikeouts.

The Lady Rebels received 2-for-3 showings from Nicole Troutman 2-3 and Allison Chapman 2-3.

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