HAZARD — Very few teams have gotten more out of one hit than the Hazard All-Stars did Sunday in the Area 4 Tournament (ages 11-12).
Hazard advanced with a 5-0 win Sunday despite being limited to only one hit by three Tri-City pitchers, a 30-foot dribbler off the end of the bat toward third base by pitcher Jarett Naper in the second inning.
“We didn’t hit the ball well,” Hazard coach Danny Pelfrey said. “Sometimes against a faster pitcher the kids feel they have to jerk to swing the bat instead of just swinging the bat and putting the ball in play. If you put the ball in play, good things can happen.”
Zachary Collett led off the third inning with a sharp single to center, the only hit of the game for Tri-City.
“Our pitching was good. We just didn’t hit the ball,” Tri-City coach Chris Carruba said. “Our fielding was bad at times. We just came out cold. Hopefully, the next game we will do better.”
Napier, who struck out three and walked none, surrendered the hit against the last batter he faced in three-plus innings on the mound. Wade Pelfrey strouck out three and walked none in 1 1/3 innings. Dylan Cornett struck out one and walked none as he retired all five hitters he faced.
“Our pitching did well,” Pelfrey said. “We started out with a little slower, junk pitcher, then came in with more speed to get them off balance. We hit our spots well and did a nice job.”
Quinton Boggs struck out 10 and walked three in four-plus innings on the mound for Tri-City, giving up three unearned runs on one hit. Elijah Estep struck out three and walked one in one inning. Justin Brown struck out two and walked none in one inning.
The three Tri-City pitchers combined to strike out 15 and walk four. Only four of the Hazard outs were recorded in the field, three by second baseman C.J. Carruba and one by Estep at first base.
Hazard made the most of each of its opportunities, beginning with Pelfrey, who walked to open the game and worked his way around the bases with the help of a stolen bases and two wild pitches.
Napier scored the second run as he beat out the infield hit, moved to third on an errant throw from Boggs to first base and scored when Estep’s throw to third base skipped away.
Hazard added another run in the third with the help of several more Tri-City mistakes. Pelfrey struck out to open the inning but reached base when the ball got past Collett. He moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.
Two errors sandwiched around a walk gave Hazard two more insurance runs in the fifth inning as Andrew Ford and Cornett scored.
Hazard will play Harlan on Monday at 8 in the Area 4 championship game. Tri-City will play the loser on Tuesday for second place and the final berth in the District 4 Tournament.
Hazard 110 020 — 5 1 0
Tri-City 000 000 — 0 1 5
Napier, Pelfrey (4), Cornett (5) and Fields; Boggs, Estep (5), Brown (6) and Collett, Golden (3). WP — Napier. LP — Boggs.