Harlan County continued its romp through the 14th Region on Tuesday. The Black Bears edged visiting Letcher Central 2-1 for their third straight win over a team from the 14th.
Harlan County led 2-0 in the final inning when Zane Blair scored to close the gap to one run. The Cougars put the winning run on base, but Harlan County closer Conner Leisge got Letcher’s Jordan Rose to fly out to center field to secure the win and earn the save.
“When Conner goes to the mound they have had it. That’s all there is to it. He is for real,” said Harlan County coach John Lewis. “His location and curve ball are great.”
Scotty Bailey struck out two batters and scattered four hits in five shutout innings to claim the win on the mound. Jared Sizemore allowed three hits in relief.
“The pitching saved us. They done a good job. We got ground balls when we needed them and kept their runners from scoring. Our pitching won the game,” Lewis said. “Bailey done an excellent job. He throws a lot of speed. One of the reasons we threw him was because there was a southwest wind coming straight up home-plate and into center field. If you throw a knuckle ball into that it is going to dance. They were popping it up and grounding out. He done a good job.”
The Black Bears opened the scoring with a run in the second inning. Anthony Jenkins doubled to reach base. Jenkins scored when Sawyer Fields was caught in a rundown.
Harlan County added another run in the third inning.
James Bond reached base on a single. Bond later scored when Bailey doubled to left field.
Bailey and Jenkins each doubled to lead Harlan County at the plate. Bond and Zach Doss each added a single as Harlan County had just four hits.
“We are still not hitting it like we should. We left a lot of ducks on the pond. You cant leave them on there,” Lewis said.
Harlan County (6-2) returns to action Friday at Somerset. Letcher Central (0-2) will travel to Hazard on Thursday.
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Letcher Central 000 000 1 — 1 7 0
Harlan County 011 000 x — 2 4 1
King, Adams (4), Fields (5) and Fox; Bailey, Sizemore (6), Leisge (7) and Boggs. WP — Bailey (2-0). LP — King. SV — Leisge.