The Harlan County Black Bears continue to find new ways to lose, wasting another strong effort on the mound by senior left-hander Jared Sizemore in a 3-1 loss Monday to visiting Knox Central.
The Bears and Panthers were locked in a 1-1 tie going into the seventh inning when two unearned runs gave Knox Central the win. Jaylen Adams singled to open the seventh inning, took second on a balk against Sizemore and then scored when catcher Brendan Rutherford threw past first base on Jacob Collins’ bunt. Blevin Campbell added an insurance run when his ground out to shortstop brought in Collins.
Campbell led the Knox Central offense with a double and two singles.
Rutherford led the Black Bears on offense with two singles. Devin Rodrigues added a double. Cameron Nease, Will Scott, Caleb Carmical and Sean Johnson had one single each.
Singles by Nease, Scott and Carmical and an error gave Harlan County a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
A nice running catch by Carmical in right field prevented a run in the third inning and kept the Bears ahead.
Campbell doubled home Collins in the fifth inning to pull the Panthers even.
Harlan County had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth after Rodrigues doubled and went to third with no outs on an error on the play. The Bears went for the suicide squeeze instead of a safety squeeze with no outs, and Rodrigues was caught in a rundown and tagged out after Benjamin Lewis was unable to get a bunt down. Johnson followed with a hit that could have put the Bears ahead.
Rutherford singed to open the sixth inning, but the Bears came up empty again after getting courtesy runner Michael Simpson to third base.
Sizemore struck out 12 and walked one as he pitched a complete game.
The 9-13 Bears travel to Pikeville on Tuesday and close the regular season Friday at Corbin. The 16-11 Panthers play at Somerset on Tuesday.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134