Hazard blanks Tri-City in area finals

Published 3:45 pm Saturday, June 30, 2018

HAZARD — Tri-City All-Stars coach Tom Vicini shared one of the most basic truths of baseball in a postgame discussion with his team when he asked how many games can teams that score no runs expect to win.

The Hazard/Perry County All-Stars threw a curve, several of them actually, at the Tri-City offense in a 4-0 win in the Area 4 (ages 11-12) championship game Saturday morning at Perry County Park. Tri-City was limited to three hits and struck out 15 times in the loss.

“They threw a lot or curveballs and that had our guys off balance because we don’t do a lot of that in our league,” Vicini said. “We weren’t really prepared for that, and I think it shook our confidence a little. We’re a better hitting team than that. You can’t win if you don’t get it in play.”

Sammy Shoptaw earned the win on the mound for Hazard as he gave up three hits over 4 1/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks. Brady Tincher started and allowed one hit with four strikeouts and no walks in 1 2/3 innings.

Shawn Carroll pitched well enough to win, giving up only three hits while striking out seven and walking four in a complete-game effort. Tri-City had two errors, leading to two unearned runs. The other two Hazard runs started with infield hits, plays that could have been made with better defense.

“When you play a good team, you can’t help them and we helped them a little today,” Vicini said. “We played a good game and Shawn was outstanding. We didn’t put the bat on the ball and support him. We’ll come back tomorrow stronger than ever though.”

Carroll held Hazard hitless his first time through the order and was locked in a scoreless game with two outs in the third inning when Shoptaw and Tincher reached on consecutive errors on balls dropped in left field. Connor Combs followed with the game’s first hit, a double to left, for a 2-0 lead.

Luke Bailey led off the fifth inning for Hazard with a bunt single, moved to third on two wild pitches and scored on Talon Goins’ sacrifice fly to center.

Luke Cobb had an infield single on a hard-hit ball off Carroll to start the fifth inning and eventually came home on a wild pitch to close the scoring.

Tyler Lunsford’s single in the fourth inning was the only hit for Tri-City until Kaden Boggs beat out an infield hit to start the sixth inning. With two outs, Carroll singled to right to put runners on the corner, but Shoptaw struck out Liam Garland to end the threat and the game.

Steven Childers had a big game for the Tri-City defense with five putouts in center field.

Tri-City will play Leslie County in the second-place game on Sunday in Hazard. The winner will advance to District 4 competition next week.

Harlan did not field an 11-12 team in this year’s tournament, possibly for the first time since the Harlan Little League was formed.


Tri-City 000 000 — 0 3 2

Hazard 002 11x — 4 3. 1

Carroll and Craig, Carroll (5); Tincher, Shoptaw (3) and Pelfrey. WP — Shoptaw. LP — Carroll (0-1).