A three-game losing streak to start the season is starting to feel like a distant memory for the Harlan Green Dragons, who are now riding a four-game winning streak after a 9-2 rout of Williamsburg on Tuesday at the HHS field.
Sophomore right-hander Caleb Hogue, the Dragons’ ace last season, was strong in his first start on the mound in 2014. Hogue gave up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and four walks as he pitched a complete game.
“Caleb came back for us. He is just a bull on the mound, and that’s what we needed,” Harlan coach Robbie Burns said. “He shut them down.”
Hogue had plenty of support from both his offense, which pounded out 13 hits, and a defense that made several nice plays and committed no errors.
“Everybody is hitting hard shots, making things happen and forcing errors for the other team,” Burns said.
Junior infielders Ben Abraham and Tye Patrick each had huge days at the plate in the middle of the order with three hits in four at bats. Abraham had a double and two singles and two RBI, while Patrick added three singles. Cleanup hitter Jacob Hensley, a senior first baseman, added two singles and three RBI. Jacob Clark had a double and single and drew two walks. Cory Chorak contributed two single. Hogue added a double.
Williamsburg grabbed an early 2-0 lead with single runs in the second and third innings. Dalton Sizemore led off with a single in the second inning and scored on Dakota Dunn’s ground out. Hagen Hawn walked in the third and came home on Ryan Bowlin’s hit. Hogue took over from there, shutting out the Jackets over the final four innings.
Harlan began to fight back in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs. Hensley had a big two-out, two-run single up the middle to tie the game. Clark’s double put the Dragons ahead to stay.
Abraham and Patrick had RBI singles in the fifth inning as the Harlan lead grew to 5-2.
Harlan strung together five straight hits to score four times against three Williamsburg pitchers in the sixth inning. Hogue led off with a double and moved to third on Chorak’s hit. Hogue scored on a wild pitch and Chorak came in on Abraham’s double. Hensley added an RBI single. Patrick followed with the fifth straight hit. Walks to Clark and Andrew Saylor forced in the last run.
The Harlan defense made several nice plays late in the game and had double plays to end both the sixth and seventh innings. Hogue turned two when he caught a bloop off the bat of Aaron Powers in the sixth inning. Ethan Wilson hit a hard grounder to Patrick at third with one out and two on in the sixth that was turned into a game-ending twin killing with the help of a nice scoop at first by Hensley.
“The last three or four games we’ve just had a couple of errors. I’m tickled with that. Everybody is contributing and doing well,” Burns said.
Harlan (4-3) returns to action Wednesday at Perry Central.
Williamsburg011 000 0 — 2 7 1
Harlan003 024 x — 9 13 0
Osborne, Sizemore (3), Dunn (6), Banks (6) and Harrison; Hogue and Miller. WP — Hogue (1-0). LP — Osborne.