After earning their first district victory in four years at Bell County on Monday, the Harlan Green Dragons swept the Bobcats for an encore on Tuesday.
“It is a good sign of progress. We have a lot of young guys coming up,” said Harlan coach Robbie Burns.
The Dragons exploded out of the gate with runs in each of the first four innings.
Seniors Zach Hollins and Tyler Grubbs scored in the first as Harlan took a two-run lead. Fellow Senior Christian Turbyfill pushed the lead to 3-0 with a run in the second inning. The Dragons began to take control in the third inning as Tye Patrick, Dylan McNiel and Ben Abraham each crossed home plate. Hollins and Grubbs tacked on the final runs in the fourth inning as Harlan took an 8-0 advantage and seemingly put the game out of reach.
“It is always important to score early. We scored early and just kind of hung on for the win,” Burns said.
Bell County closed the gap late with five runs in the final three innings. Dylan Cox score in the fifth inning for the Bobcats first run. Jacob Rose made it 8-6 with a run in the sixth inning.
Bell threatened in the seventh inning as Rose, Evan Brock and Jared Slusher each scored in the inning. The Bobcats also had the bases loaded, Harlan reliever Jacob Clark struck out Jackson Lefevers to get out of the jam.
“We are just inexperienced and young. We are struggling to put it together,” said Bell County coach Ken Johnson. “We are improving every game, which is a good thing. But, we put ourselves in a hole and are not experienced enough yet to dig out of that hole.”
Hollins had three singles to pace Harlan at the plate. Grubbs contributed a double and a single. Patrick, Abraham and Corey Burns each recorded a pair of singles, while Turbyfill added a single.
“Tyler pitched a great game yesterday, and came out and hit the ball well today,” Burns said. “Zach always hits the ball good and is a good leader. If we can just follow our seniors we will be alright.”
Cox had a double and a single to lead Bell County offensively. Cody Saylor recorded two singles, and Brock, Slusher, Lefevers and Caleb Smith each added one single.
Turbyfill recorded a pair of strikeouts, while allowing just three hits and one run in five innings in the win. Clark pitched the final two innings in relief.
“Christian threw a good game today. He looked real good out there on the mound,” Burns said.
Cody Saylor struck out two betters in five innings in the loss for Bell County.
Harlan (6-14 overall, 2-4) returns to action today at Perry Central. Bell County (2-17, 0-6) will face Cumberland Gap, Tenn. in the Southeast Kentucky Invitational on Friday.
Bell County 000 011 3 - 5 8 3
Harlan 213 200 x - 8 12 2
Saylor, Turner (4), Saylor (5) and Aaron Jenkins; C. Turbyfill, Clark (6) and Hollins. WP-Turbyfill. LP-Saylor.