The Harlan Green Dragons started out with an early lead Thursday, but held off a late rally from visiting Pineville to claim an 11-10 victory and extends its winning streak to six games.
“We jumped onto them early. We got ahead and just gave up,” said Harlan coach Robbie Burns. “We let them get back into the ball game and came one hair of getting beat.”
Senior right-hander Tyler Grubbs started for the Dragons and pitched the first four inning. He was called again to pitch in the seventh inning and saved the win.
Harlan entered the seventh inning with an 11-4 advantage. Pineville sent 11 batters to the plate in the final frame, scoring six runs (all unearned) on four hits and two Harlan errors.
The Green Dragons committed six errors. “Pineville has improved. They put the ball in play and when you do that things happen especially when you play us. The way we’re playing defensively, things happen,” added Burns.
Grubbs pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Jacob Clark faced four batters in the fifth inning, giving up one run and three walks. Dylan McNiel allowing eight runs on four hits, two walks and four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.
“We were hitting him (Grubbs), but couldn’t get many hits in a row,” said Pineville coach Scott Jeffrey. “He’s a good pitcher.
“When they started changing pitchers, we got on a little roll there and made a good run at it. Our defense played real well. I think we had one error.”
McNiel powered the Harlan offense with a two singles and a triple. Ben Abraham added two singles and a double. Clark had two doubles while Jordan Turbyfill added a double. Grubbs, Colby Wilson and Tye Patrick each singled once.
Kyle Capps led the Mountain Lions with two singles. Connor Ford had double while John Robbins, Tyler Evans and Jared Philpot each singled once.
McNiel had two-run single and Abraham and Clark each had RBI hits as the Dragons led 4-0 after one inning. Pineville scored once in the third inning when Ford doubled and scored on a single by Capps. McNiel opened the third with a triple and scored on a double by Abraham. Clark followed with a RBI double and Austin Miller grounded out as Clark scored to make it 7-1.
The Lions scored once in the fourth inning on two Harlan errors. The Dragons added two runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 9-2. In the fifth inning, Pineville scored twice with four walks and another Harlan mistake. The Dragons extended the lead to 11-4 in the sixth inning with two runs on three hits. Turbyfill and McNiel each had RBI hits.
Ford pitched four innings for the Lions. He recorded four strikeouts. Capps worked the last two innings. “We had too several errors in the field,” said Burns. “Today, we had no leadership at all. We won and that’s the main thing.”
Harlan (12-17) travels to Shelby Valley for a doubleheader on Saturday. Pineville (3-15) plays host to Lynn Camp on Tuesday.
Pineville 001 120 6 — 10 6 1
Harlan 403 202 x — 11 12 6
Ford, Capps (5) and Capps, Ford (5); Grubbs, Clark (5), McNiel (5), Grubbs (7) and Hollins. W—Grubbs (3-2). L—Ford. Sv—Grubbs.