Coming off consecutive district losses the previous two nights against Bell County, the Harlan Green Dragons were in need of a confidence boost Thursday. They got it with an 11-2 win over visiting Lynn Camp.
Harlan (6-6) had only four hits against Lynn Camp pitchers Dakota Baker and Nathan Garlen but capitalized on nine walks and four errors to blow the game open after falling behind 2-0 early.
“It took us about three innings to get started, but then we hit it around a little,” Harlan coach Robbie Burns said. “Our pitching is decent and our hitting is decent, but we’re still not where I want us to be. But I will take a win.”
Caleb Hogue led the Harlan offense with two singles, including a hit with one out in the third inning to start the rally that pulled the Dragons even. Hogue moved to second when Noah Busroe walked. Both stole a base, then Hogue scored on Andrew Saylor’s sacrifice fly and Busroe came home on an errant throw to third by catcher Tyler Emery.
Harlan scored four runs in the fourth inning with the help of two errors and two walks, including one by Patrick Smallwood that forced in a run. Hogue drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder, then Busroe followed with Harlan’s second hit, a two-run double that pushed the lead to 6-2.
The Dragons added five runs in a fifth inning that began with four walks and a hit batsmen. Smallwood drove in another run with a walk. Hogue had an RBI single and Busroe drove in a run with a fielder’s choice. Saylor’s rare 4-3-2 double play ended the threat. Hogue was cut down at the plate trying to score from second, which would have ended the game after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Instead, Harlan had to retire the Wildcats two more times, which proved to be no problem for senior Tye Patrick, who earned the save with three hitless innings on the mound. Patrick struck out four and walked two with a steady diet of curveballs that the Wildcats were unable to get out of the infield.
“Clark threw pretty well, and so did Miller,” Burns said. “Tye gave them some problems with his curveball. He did well.”
Austin Miller started on the mound, giving up a run on one hit with two strikeouts and three walks. Jacob Clark earned the win as he allowed one run on one hit in two-plus innings, with four strikeouts and three walks.
Baker allowed 10 runs on two hits in 4 1/3 innings, with no strikeouts and eight walks. Garlen gave up a run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings, with no strikeouts and one walk.
Cory Chorak had the other Harlan hit with a single in the seventh inning.
Burns sat out a couple of starters as both first baseman Jacob Hensley and second baseman Ben Abraham watched the game from the dugout in street clothes.
Lynn Camp, coached by former Harlan track star Marc Estep, fell to 3-9.
Harlan returns to action Saturday in a doubleheader at June Buchanan.
Lynn Camp110 000 0 — 2 3 3
Harlan002 450 x — 11 4 2
Baker, Garlen (5) and Emery; Miller, Clark (3), Patrick (5) and Saylor. WP — Clark (2-0). LP — Baker. Sv — Patrick.