HCHS sweeps district doubleader

Published 11:45 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

In an ugly night of baseball that included seven errors on one side and 12 walks and seven hit batsmen on the other, Harlan County sophomore second baseman/pitcher Jay Harris provided enough good moments to help the Black Bears escape with a 13-9 win in the opening game of a district doubleheader Friday at Harlan.

Harris pitched three strong innings in relief, giving up one run on one hit with three strikeouts and two walks to earn the win. He also added the biggest hit of the game with a two-run double in the seventh inning as the Bears scored four times to break a tie.

“We left a lot of runners on, especially early in the game,” Harlan County coach John Lewis said. “Jay did a nice job. We probably could have gone to him earlier, but Caleb (Carmical) needed to throw. I will take it any day though with all the mistakes we made.”

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Harlan battled from behind three times to tie the game in the first, second and sixth innings only to lose in the seventh.

“It was a fight I’ve been waiting to see,” Harlan coach Cory Estep said. “We have been struggling. That’s no secret. But this is something to build on.”

Junior righthander Will Varner gave up five runs on two hits in three innings with seven strikeouts, eight walks and three hit batsmen. Senior righthander Tyler Carmical allowed eight runs on five hits in four innings with one strikeout, four walks and four hit batsmen.

Varner led Harlan at the plate with three singles. Carmical added a double and reached base on all four plate appearances. Josh Knuckles, Jacob McCurry ad Ethan Cornett had one single each.

Harris had a double and single for the Bears. Caleb Carmical contributed a double. Devon Rodrigues, Cameron Nease, Ethan Maggard and Tyler Casolari added one single each.

Carmical started on the mound for HCHS, giving up eight runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in four-plus innings on the mound.

Harlan County scored twice in the first inning with the help of two walks and two hit batsmen. Harlan answered with the help of four HCHS errors.

The Bears scored three times in the second inning as Harris and Rodrigues had singles before Varner walked in three runs. Cornett and Varner had singles for Harlan in the bottom of the inning and Carmical doubled in two runs before another run scored on an error.

HCHS built a four-run lead in the fourth inning as Carmical doubled in a run and Nease singled home two. Harlan battled back with one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to pull even. McCurry had a perfectly executed RBI bunt hit in the fifth and Pedro Roman brought home Carmical with a ground out in the sixth.

Nease was hit by a pitch to open the seventh inning and the go-ahead run scored with the help of stolen base, wild pitch and error. Casolari walked and Maggard singled before Harris’ two-run double. Lewis forced in the final run with a walk.

Harlan County lost senior first baseman Will Scott, the Bears’ cleanup hitter, when he was ejected after striking out in the second inning.

“The loss of Will hurt us. We teach them batter than that,” Lewis said.


Lewis pitched a no-hitter in the nightcap as the Bears rolled to a 14-3 win in four innings. Lewis struck out seven and walked four while allowing three unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings. Carmical recorded the final out.

Lewis also led the Bears at the plate with a triple, double and single. Maggard added a double and single. Carmical, Casolari and Goodwin had two singles each. Nease added a double. Quinton Boggs had a single.

Michael Robinson pitched for the Dragons, striking out three and walking five.


Harlan fell 8-6 on Thursday at Hancock County, Tenn., as Hancock rallied with six runs in the fourth inning.

Varner led the Dragons with a double and two singles. Carmical had two singles. Roman had a double. McCurry contributed a single.

Ethan Cornett pitched a complete game for Harlan, striking out two and walking two. All eight Hancock runs were unearned due to seven errors.

Harlan (3-9) travels to Perry Central on Monday.


Harlan County 230 400 4 — 13 7 7

Harlan 230 121 0 — 9 7 2

Carmical, Harris (5) and Casolari; Varner, Carmical (4) and Knuckles. WP — Harris (1-0). LP — Carmical (2-1).


Harlan County 804 2 — 14 13 4

Harlan 012 0 — 3 0 5

Lewis and Casolari; Robinson and Knuckles. WP — Lewis (1-1). LP — Robinson (0-4).


Harlan 101 030 0 — 6 7 7

Hancock County, Tenn. 101 600 x — 8 7 5

Cornett and Knuckles; Mullins and Anderson. WP — Mullins. LP — Cornett (0-2).