Harlan County put up five runs in the top of the first inning an coasted to a 10-2 win at Bell County on Wednesday.
The Black Bears got and RBI double from Sawyer Fields and RBI singles from Connor Leisge, Zach Doss and Brendan Rutherford in the top of the first inning and also got bit of help from three Bobcat errors, including two in the outfield during the inning.
“No disrespect to Bell County, but we had a point to make tonight with the bats. We hit it the other night, but we left 11 on base. We bounced back tonight, we executed well and hit it with runners on. We hit it hard and scored five runs in the first inning to get a good jump on them,” Harlan County coach John Lewis said.
Bell starter Austin North was chased after getting just one out. Zach Turner came one in relief and stopped the bleeding momentarily by retiring the first two batters he faced to end the inning.
But Harlan County added a run in the second as Fields doubled and later scored when Leisge dropped and RBI single into shallow right field.
Bell County coach Scott Chaney had his entire group of starters run the right field foul line before they came up to bat in the bottom of the second and the motivational tactic paid off a bit. As Turner singled with two outs, courtesy runner Jordan Wombles stole second and then scored on Jared Slusher single back up the middle to make it 6-1.
“Monday night we didn’t make any errors at all and tonight we made seven or eight. We made three errors in the first inning and let them put up five runs,” Chaney said. “You can’t spot a team like Harlan County any runs. We just kept waiting for this team to wake up, we just didn’t seem like were ready to play.”
That second inning run was the only one they would get off Tyler Cornett. He pitched the first four innings and gave up just four hits while striking out six and hitting a batter. Fields took over for the final three innings and gave up just one run on five hits, he struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
“Tyler pitched a good game for four innings and Sawyer Fields came in and did a good job, too,” Lewis added. “We had Bell County off balance. They put the ball in play and they’re a good ballclub.”
Harlan added a run in the third on a single by Brendan Rutherford, a double by Chance Brown and an RBI fielder’s choice by Blake Rutherford. Anthony Jenkins had an RBI single in the fourth and two more runs came home on a pair of Bobcat errors in the sixth that pushed the lead to 10-1.
The Bobcats scored in their half of the sixth as Dylan Cox, who went 4-for-4, singled and then came around to score on an RBI double by Jacob Rose.
Harlan County (12-5) will open play in the National Guard Tomahawk Classic at Madison Central on Friday against Lafayette.
Bell County (10-7) plays at Middlesboro on Monday.
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|Tyler Cornett, Sawyer Fields (5) and Brendan Rutherford. Austin North, Zach Turner (1), Ethan Mason (5) and Aaron Jenkins. W — Cornett. L — North.|