A couple of hours after walking on the Harlan High School baseball field for his Senior Night ceremonies, Harlan first baseman Corey Burns helped the Green Dragons walk off with an 11-1 win as he lined a two-out, two-run single to right field to cap a memorable day at the plate. Burns drove in three runs with a double and three singles, leading Harlan’s 15-hit attack.
“Corey has been hitting the ball real well lately,” said proud father and Harlan coach Robbie Burns said. “We had been struggling a little bit as a team lately, but they really hit it well today.”
Junior second baseman Ben Abraham also had a big game, driving in five runs with a double and single while reaching base all four times with a walk and a hit by pitch. Jacob Hensley also contributed a double and single with two RBI. Caleb Hogue and Noah Busroe each singled twice. Jacob Clark had a double. Andrew Saylor and Austin Wilson added one single each.
Wilson benefited from the offensive explosion to earn the win on the mound. The freshman righthander gave up only four hits while striking out two and walking one. He also got plenty of his help from a defense that made only one error and several nice plays behind him, including one by Hogue who went into left field to make a catch with his back to the infield on a ball hit by Dalton Spurlock to end the fourth inning.
“Austin pitched a great game,” Burns said. “He had a good knuckleball and kept them off balance. We also made the plays behind him, especially Hogue, who seems to do something like that just about every night.”
Troy Woods, a sophomore designated hitter, led Leslie County with a pair of singles. C.J. Sebastian and Dalton Spurlock added one single each.
Dillion Muncy suffered the loss as he gave up eight runs on 11 hits in three innings with no strikeouts and two walks. Dean Bray gave up two runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings with one strikeouts and two walks.
Harlan batted around in the first inning to take a quick 4-0 lead. Hogue led off with a single and Busroe walked. Both scored on Abraham’s single. Hensley and Burns added RBI doubles.
Burns, Saylor and Wilson opened the third inning with singles to load the bases. Busroe singled home one run and Abraham doubled in three with his shot over Leslie center fielder Seth Melton.
Busroe singled to open the fifth inning and scored on Hensley’s hit. Burns ended the game when he slapped a two-run single into right field.
Harlan (15-11) goes on the road this weekend for a doubleheader at Barbourville on Friday and Shelby Valley on Saturday. Leslie County (4-17) plays host to Buckhorn on Wednesday.
Harlan lost a 7-6 heartbreaker at Jackson County on Monday as the Generals won the game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jacob Hays led off the inning with a single. Cody Cunagin followed with a hit to right field that skipped past Patrick Smallwood for an error. Cunagin came all the way around to score the winning run, colliding with Harlan catcher Austin Miller, who suffered a broken nose on the play and spent the night in a London hospital.
Jordan Turbyfill had two singles to lead the Harlan offense. Abraham singled twice. Busroe and Tye Patrick added one double each.
Hogue was the losing pitcher as he went the distance on the mound.
The Dragons fell 10-0 at Letcher Central on Monday as Nick King pitched a four-hitter with four strikeouts and no walks.
Busroe had a double and Hogue, Abraham and Saylor added singles for the Dragons.
Miller pitched a complete game in the loss.
Leslie County 000 01 — 1 4 1
Harlan 404 03 — 11 15 1
Muncy, Bray (4) and Crisp; Wilson and Saylor. WP — Wilson (2-1). LP — Muncy.
Harlan 000 00 — 0 4 1
Letcher Central 323 2x — 10 12 1
Miller and Saylor; King and Fox. WP — King. LP — Miller (3-3)
Harlan 030 002 0 — 6 6 3
Jackson County 011 200 2 — 7 8 3
Hogue and Miller; Nunn, Duncan (5) and Neeley. WP — Duncan. LP — Hogue (2-4).