CHRIS JONES/Harlan Daily Enterprise
Harlan County's Tyler Cornett delivered a pitch during earlier season action. The junior right-hander tossed four shutout innings Wednesday to help lift the Bears to a 5-2 victory at Knox Central.
An Enterprise Staff Report
BARBOURVILLE — Harlan County second baseman Scotty Bailey was stellar in the field and on the base paths Wednesday as he lead the Bears to a victory at Knox Central. The sophomore prevented four runs with a pair of diving stops and stole three bases as Harlan County held on for a 5-2 win over the host Panthers.
“Scotty gave us a great effort on the bases and made two key defensive plays,” Harlan County coach John Lewis said.
With Harlan County clinging to a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning, Knox Central was one hit away from taking the lead when Bailey made his second diving stop to end the threat. The Panthers had loaded the bases with one out when Seth Hill singled home one run. When the throw from center field bounced toward the backstop, Dallas Yeager tried to score the tying run but catcher Tyler Boggs ran the ball down and threw to pitcher Conner Leisge for the out.
Harlan County added three insurance runs in the seventh inning. Blake Rutherford led off with a single and Bailey followed with a sacrifice bunt. Bailey was safe on an errant throw from pitcher Dustin Bingham. The Panthers appeared to have Bailey picked off at second but the throw got away from shortstop Matthew Barger to allow one run to score. Fields followed with a single to left on a hit and run to set the stage for Tyler Boggs, who ripped a two-run single to left.
The Panthers scored once against Boggs in the seventh inning on a double Tyler Gilbert. After a meeting with pitching coach Tim McElyea, Boggs induced a pop out to first base and ended the game with a strikeout.
Tyler Cornett earned the win as he pitched four shutout innings, giving up two hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Leisge allowed one run on two hits in two innings with four strikeouts and no walks. Boggs allowed one run on one hit with one strikeout and one walk in one inning.
Bingham pitched a complete game for Knox Central, giving up five runs on 10 hits with one strikeout and one and walk.
Andrew Dozier and Fields led the 22-3 Bears with a double and single each. Bond singled twice. Bailey, Boggs, Eddie Conley and Rutherford had one single each.
Harlan County returns to action Saturday at noon in a doubleheader against visiting Clay County, the defending 13th Region champions.
Harlan County 010 010 3 — 5 10 0
Knox Central 000 001 1 — 2 5 2
Cornett, Leisge (5), Boggs (7) and Boggs, Bailey (7); Bingham and Helton. WP — Cornett. LP — Bingham.