Held scoreless through four innings by Brendan Rutherford, the visiting Pikeville Panthers exploded for four runs in the fifth inning and five in the sixth to rally for a 9-4 win Monday.
Dylan Cornett and Rutherford had two singles each to lead the 13-13 Black Bears. Devon Rodrigues had a double. Sean Johnson, Jared Sizemore, Cameron Nease and Caleb Carmical contributed one single each.
Rutherford gave up four runs (two earned) in 4 1/3 innings on the mound, with four strikeouts and one walk. Benjamin Lewis allowed three runs on two hits in one inning. Gabe Price gave up two runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning. Sizemore struck out two in one hitless inning on the mound.
HCHS took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Sizemore laid down the first of two perfectly executed suicide squeezes, scoring Johnson, who had reached base on an error.
Cornett and Johnson singled and Gage Burkhart walked to load the bases with no outs in the third inning. Sizemore brought in another run with a bunt. Nease followed with an RBI single as the Harlan County lead grew to 3-0.
Pikeville took the lead with a four-run fifth, capitalizing on error to pick up two of the runs.
Rutherford and Carmical had hits in the fifth inning as HCHS pulled even at 4-4 when Lewis was safe on an error.
The Panthers, who improved to 21-11, won the game with a five-run sixth inning.
Harlan County returns to action Tuesday against Knox Central.
Pikeville 000 045 0 — 9 9 4
Harlan County 102 010 0 — 4 9 6
Lucas, Tackett and Slone; Rutherford, Lewis (5), Price (6), Sizemore (7) and Casolari, Rutherford (5). WP — Lucas. LP — Lewis (1-2).