Middlesboro Daily News
LOG MOUNTAIN —Senior right-hander Tyler Grubbs hurled a complete game three-hitter to lead the Harlan Green Dragons to a 6-2 win at Bell County Monday night. The win snaps a 10-game losing streak for the Dragons.
“They had a nice pitcher. He’s a senior, threw the ball hard and our young guys are just not there yet,” said Bobcat coach Ken Johnson. “We had a couple guys to get some good hits, but as a team we just didn’t hit the ball very well against him.”
Bell freshman Caleb Smith allowed just two earned run over five innings, but a couple of errors paved the way for Harlan to open up a 4-0 lead after four innings. Smith scattered eight hits while striking out five and walking one.
That lead was more than enough for Grubbs who gave up just three hits and no earned runs while striking out ten and walking one.
Freshman Ben Abraham had two hits and drove in two runs for the Dragons while Colby Wilson and Christian Turbyfill also had two hits in the game. Jordan Turbyfill and Tye Patrick had doubles for Harlan while Zach Hollins and Dylan McNeil added singles.
Bell County got singles from Dylan Cox, Jacob Rose and Evan Brock.
The Dragons broke a scoreless tie with an unearned run in the top of the third inning. Hollins singled with one out and advanced to second on an error in the outfield. He took third on a passed ball and then scored on a sac fly to right by Grubbs.
Two more Bobcat miscues led to a three-run fourth inning for Harlan. Christian Turbyfill singled, stole second and advanced to third on an error. Jordan Turbyfill drove him home with a double. Turbyfill then stole third and scored on a throwing error to make it 3-0. With two down, Patrick doubled and then scored on Abraham’s first base hit.
The Bobcats got one run back in the bottom of the frame. Cox singled and Jeremiah Partin reached on a fielder’s choice as Cox was retired at second. Smith reached on an error, then Rose singled to bring Partin home. Bell had a chance to possibly add to the rally, but Smith was thrown out trying to score on the play and Rose was later thrown out going for third and Harlan took a 4-1 lead into the fifth.
“We had a couple of base-running mistakes that really hurt us. It could have been a different game, but at the same time they played well. Don’t take anything away from Harlan, they made plays, they had good pitching and they hit the ball,” Johnson added. “That’s what I’ve been telling my guys we’ve got to do. Our pitchers threw strikes, they did great, but our hitting wasn’t there.”
The Dragons added a run in the fifth as Grubbs walked, stole second and third and then scored on McNeil’s single.
Bell County answered with another unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. Brock led off with a single and stole second. One out later Aaron Jenkins walked and Austin North laid down a bunt. North was safe on a throwing error as Brock came around to score, but that was all Grubbs would allow. He retired the final seven batters he faced to close out the game.
Bell’s Cody Saylor took over on the mound to start the sixth. Wilson led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a Patrick ground out. Abraham delivered his second RBI single that set the final at 6-2.
Saylor, returning after missing a month with a pulled hamstring, came back to pitch a perfect seventh with two strikeouts.
Harlan (5-14, 1-4 district) and Bell (2-16, 0-5) will play the second game of their series today at Harlan.
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Harlan 001 311 0 — 6 10 3
Bell Co. 000 110 0 — 2 3 4
Grubbs and Hollins; Smith, Saylor (5) and Jenkins. W — Grubbs. L — Smith.