Tigers capitalize on errors to edge HCHS

Published 10:10 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

A good start and gritty finish should have been more than enough for the Harlan County Black Bears to win their season opener Monday against visiting Barbourville, and it would have been if the Bears could have made plays on defense.

Barbourville used a five-run fifth inning to rally for a 6-5 win over the Bears, capitalizing on eight HCHS errors.

Trey Owens, Connor Bain, Bailey Lundy, Matthew Warren and Jordan Collins each had one hit for the Tigers, who finished 15-13 last season.

Mitchell Buchanan earned the win on the mound as he gave up two runs on six hits in four innings, with five strikeouts and two walks. Collins pitched the first three innings, allowing three runs on one hit, with five strikeouts and two walks.

Senior left-hander Benjamin Lewis pitched three dominant innings for the Bears to start the game as he struck out seven and walked two while allowing only one hit. J Harris gave up six runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and one walk. Quinton Boggs recorded the final five outs with two strikeouts and one walk.

Senior shortstop Antonio Roman led the Bears with a triple and single. Garry Henson added a double and single for two RBI. Justin Brown, Tyler Casolari and Jonathan Wilder added one single each.

Harlan County grabbed a quick lead when the first two hitters, Roman and Brown, reached base on a walk and error, respectively. Two wild pitches brought in runs.

The Bears added another run in the third as Roman led off with a triple to center and scored on Brown’s ground out to second base.

Barbourville broke through with five runs against Harris as the HCHS defense fell apart with three errors. Collins, Bain and Warren added hits.

The Tigers added a run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Caleb Powers. Lewis made a strong throw from center field on the play, but Casolari was unable to complete the tag for a double play as the ball slipped out of his glove.

Henson doubled in the sixth inning and scored on an error before Barbourville worked out of a jam with a double play.

The Bears loaded the bases with one out in the seventh. Buchanan struck out Casolari for the second out before Henson beat out an infield hit to shortstop to cut the deficit to one. Buchanan fanned Eli Estep to end the game.

Harlan County returns to action with four games over the weekend in Sevierville, Tenn.


Barbourville 000 051 0 — 6. 5. 3

Harlan County 201 001 1 — 5. 7. 8

Collins, Buchanan (4) and Tye; Lewis, Harris (4), Boggs (6) and Casolari. WP — Buchanan. LP — Harris (0-1).