One game after their ace lost for the first time this year, the Harlan County Black Bears beat a good team for the first time without Jared Sizemore on the mound.
Senior lefthander Gage Burkhart, slowed most of the year by a shoulder injury, pitched a three-hitter Thursday as Harlan County knocked off 14th Region favorite Hazard 3-2. It was the Bears’ second win this season over the Bulldogs, following a 2-0 shutout by Sizemore in April at HCHS.
Burkhart struck out three and walked four, giving up two unearned runs in a complete game effort.
Sizemore drove in all three runs for the 14-14 Bears, including a squeeze bunt with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
With the score tied 2-2, Devon Rodrigues walked to open the seventh inning. Sean Johnson was safe on an error with one out and Burkhart singled before Sizemore laid down a bunt to bring in Rodrigues.
Cameron Nease had two of the Bears’ six singles. Johnson, Sizemore, Burkhart and Rodrigues added one hit each.
Griffin Wells, Rudy Akemon and Ryan Smith had one single each for the 25-9 Bulldogs. Smith drove in both Hazard runs.
Harlan County closes its regular season schedule Friday at home against North Laurel.
Harlan County 002 000 1 — 3 6 2
Hazard 000 101 0 — 2 3 1
Burkhart and Rutherford; Morris, Smith (3), Wells (6) and ——. WP — Burkhart (2-0). LP — Wells.