Nease’s 1-hitter sends Bears to finals

Published 12:25 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

MIDDLESBORO — For the second straight year, Harlan’s Will Varner was on the losing end of a pitchers’ duel against Harlan County in the first round of the 52nd District Tournament.

Last year, it was Jared Sizemore in a 3-2 loss. On Monday, it was Cameron Nease as the Black Bears advanced to the regional for the 10th straight time with a hard-fought 3-0 victory at Middlesboro.

Nease gave up only one hit, a single to Wil McCarthy, while striking out nine and walking one in an efficient 96-pitch effort that improved his record to 4-3.

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Varner allowed only one earned run on four hits while striking out nine and walking two for the 7-17 Dragons.

Harlan County (11-11) will play Middlesboro on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the district championship game.

Benjamin Lewis, Cameron Nease, Will Scott and Jay Harris each had singles for the Bears.

Harlan County scored in the opening inning as Lewis singled, moved to third on an an error and scored on Hunter Goodwin’s sacrifice fly to left.

Scott singled in the fifth inning and courtesy runner C.J. Carruba came around to score when Ethan Maggard was safe on an error by catcher Josh Knuckles on a bunt. Michael Simpson scored the final run on a wild pitch.


Harlan 000 000 0 — 0 1 2

Harlan County 100 020 x — 3 4 1

Varner and Knuckles; Nease and Casolari. WP — Nease (4-3). LP — Varner (4-4).