The loss was Rockcastle's first, meaning the two teams will square off again tonight at 7 for the district title.
Harlan collected just four hits but was aided by three Rockcastle errors and a couple of wasted fielder's choice situations.
Jared Fuson pitched five solid innings to pick up the win. Fuson allowed seven hits while striking out two and walking two. His outing included a second inning in which he retired the side on three pitches, inducing two groundouts and a sharp line drive that was caught by shortstop Chad Massingill.
Massingill also contributed to a critical defensive play in the fifth inning. Rockcastle catcher Boone Saylor singled to center field, where Andrew Dozier misplayed the ball. Saylor rounded second as Dozier threw to Massingill, who fired a perfect relay to Tyler Grubbs at third to nail the runner.
Harlan struck early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Massingill reached on an error to open the game. He advanced on a fielder's choice and a single by Tyler Boggs and scored when Dozier drew a bases-loaded walk from Rockcastle's Tyler Smith.
Ty Saragas scored when Fuson grounded into a fielder's choice. Boggs added a run on a passed ball to give Harlan the early 3-0 lead.
Harlan maintained the lead until the bottom of the fourth, when Rockcastle added two runs to tie the game at 4. Damien McDaniels led off the frame with a single and later scored on a passed ball. Bryson Amyx reached on an infield single and eventually scored on an RBI single by Eric Roberts.
Rockcastle could have taken the lead if not for another big defensive play by Harlan. Shawn King hit a sharp line drive that was caught by Fuson, who threw to second to double up Roberts and preserve the tie.
Harlan reclaimed the lead in the fifth. Boggs singled and pinch-runner Alex Sergent later scored on a fielder's choice by Dozier. Zach Hollins reached on an error to drive in Dozier and set up the final margin.
Boggs pitched the sixth inning to earn the save for Harlan. He walked two and allowed B.B. Cameron to advance to third on a passed ball but struck out two and escaped on King's groundout to end the game.
Boggs led Harlan with two singles. Sergent and Massingill each added singles.
Harlan 310 020 6 4 4
Rockcastle Co. 200 200 4 7 3
Fuson, Boggs (6) and Boggs, Saragas (6); Smith and Boone. WFuson. LSmith. SvBoggs.