After being no-hit a night earlier by a powerhouse Hazard/Perry squad and being limited to one run through three innings on Wednesday by a not-so dominant Harlan team, coach Tom Vicini had to be wondering whether his Tri-City All-Stars’ offense would come alive in time.
A seven-run fourth inning provided the answer and sent Tri-City to the District 4 Tournament next week at North Laurel with a 10-2 win Wednesday.
“We got shut out by one of the best pitchers I’ve seen, and he was throwing 70 miles per hour plus,” Vicini said. “Tonight it wasn’t quite that fast. That slow curve had their timing off, but the second time around they started making contact. The bottom part of the lineup started getting the hits and got everyone going.”
Justin Moyers had a double and single to lead Tri-City’s 11-hit attack. Brayden Blakley and Chandler Smith added two singles each. Jonah Swanner and Jaeden Gist had one double each. Nathan Shepherd, Braxton Jarvis and Kris Cornett had one single each.
Tristan Cooper again had the only hit for Harlan with a single in the fourth inning.
Moyers earned the win on the mound as he limited Harlan to one hit while striking out 10 and walking three over 4 1/3 innings. Blakley recorded the final four outs, striking out three and walking one.
“(Moyers) walked more than usual. He pitched for me during the regular season and went about eight games without walking a batter, but the mound here is a little higher than he’s used to at home. He settled down and did a nice job,” Vicini said.
Cornett gave Tri-City a 1-0 lead in the second inning as he singled and scored on Hunter Cornett’s ground out.
Harlan went ahead in the fourth inning. Bryce Helton was safe on an error and Cooper singled to open the inning, and both eventually scored on wild pitches.
Smith and Jarvis started the Tri-City fourth inning with singles, then Moyers singled with one out to load the bases. Swanner doubled home two runs and another scored on the first of three Harlan errors in the inning. Shepherd brought in a run with a ground out. Gist added a double that led to two more runs on two errors.
Tri-City added two more runs in the fifth inning on a two-run single by Shepherd.
Hazard won the Area 4 title by defeating Harlan and Tri-City. Both Hazard and Tri-City advance to district competition.
“I think we’ve not even come close to being as good as we are,” Vicini said. “We look real good in practice, but we’ve had some nerves here. I think we’ll do real well in the district.”
Harlan* 000* 200* —* 2 1 6
Tri-City* 010* 72x* —* 10 11 2
Helton, Cooper (5) and Cooper; Moyers, Blakley (5) and Blakley. WP — Moyers. LP — Helton.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134