No matter how bad they’ve played of late, and they were very bad in three straight losses going into Tuesday’s game against visiting Bell County, the Harlan County Black Bears are still one of the 13th Region’s best teams when Jared Sizemore is on the mound.
Sizemore was back on the hill Tuesday and pitched like the stopper he is, breaking the Bears’ losing streak in impressive fashion. He pitched a no-hitter with nine strikeouts and one walk in Harlan County’s 10-0 win over visiting Bell County.
“Jared felt good and did what he was supposed to do last night,” Harlan County coach John Lewis said. “Jared hit his spots. He got ahead early and was able to play a little, but not much because he only threw 66 pitches.”
Sizemore also led the Harlan County offense with a double and single. Dylan Cornett and Sean Johnson added two singles each. Devon Rodrigues and Brendan Rutherford contributed one single each.
“A lot of them hit last. They hit with runners in scoring position and were real aggressive at the plate,” Lewis said. “That’s a good sign. We have to build on it.”
The Bears wasted no time blowing the game open, scoring seven times in the first inning and knocking out starter Chase Woolum. Rodrigues and Johnson led off the game with singles, then moved up on Rutherford’s sacrifice. Cornett singled home two runs. Gage Burkhart walked and Sizemore was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Cameron Nease was also hit by a pitch to force in a run. Caleb Carmical walked for another run, and Gabe Price followed with a sacrifice fly. Johnson also singled home a run.
Sizemore had an RBI double in the fourth inning, and another run scored on an error.
Harlan County (8-10) ended the game with a run in the fifth inning. Johnson walked with two outs, and Tyler Casolari was hit by a pitch before Cornett singled to left to drive in a run.
Woolum gave up seven runs in one third of an inning to suffer the loss for Bell County (4-15). Jordan Smith allowed two runs in 3 2/3 innings. Jordan Wombles gave up one run in 2/3 of an inning.
The two teams meet again Thursday at Bell County.
Bell County* 000* 00* — 0 0 2
Harlan County* 700* 21* — 10 8 1
Woolum, Smith (1), Wombles (5) and Wombles, Smith; Sizemore and Rutherford, Casolari (5). WP — Sizemore (4-0). LP — Woolum.