Harlan County’s win streak snapped in Tennessee

Published 5:53 pm Monday, April 24, 2023

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By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

A six-game winning streak came to an end on Friday as Harlan County fell to Cherokee (Tenn.) 6-3 in eastern Tennessee.

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The Black Bears played two games on Saturday.

West Greene (Tenn.) claimed a 10-4 win over Harlan County.

The Bears suffered an 8-6 loss to Northview Academy.

No statistics were available for the Tennessee weekend trip.

HCHS (11-9) hosts Middlesboro on Monday and visits the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday.

Harlan County travels to Knott Central on Thursday and plays host to Letcher Central on Monday.

Bears down Leslie

Senior pitcher Karsten Dixon pitched a complete game Thursday as the Black Bears rolled past homestanding Leslie County 11-3.

Dixon (4-1) managed to strike out two and walked one, but the three runs were unearned due to five HC errors.

The Harlan County offense allowed the Bears to collect 19 hits.

Isaac Kelly powered the Bears with four hits. Carter Howard had three hits. Will Cassim and Jonah Swanner each had a double and single. Brayden Blakley and Tristan Cooper each singled twice. Braydon Burton, Aiden Craig, Alex Creech and Samuel Henson had one single apiece.

The Bears scored in every inning but the fourth. HC put the game away in the fifth frame with four runs to make it an 8-3 advantage.

Harlan County had 10 of 10 stolen bases. On the season, the Bears are 79 of 84 on stealing bases.

Freshman Rylan Simpson (0-3) went the distance for the Eagles. He gave up ten earned runs with one strikeout and a walk.

Simpson’s earned run average for the year stands at 8.34.

Leslie County finished the game with 11 hits.

Junior catcher Jathan Shell collected three singles for the Eagles. Junior Dalton Baker followed with two singles. Josiah Sparks added a triple. Tyler Baker, David Brock, Simpson, Dalton Hoskins and Jesse Osborne singled once.

The victory pushed Harlan County’s win streak to six games.

The Black Bears are 12-0 all-time against the Eagles.

Leslie County fell to 2-14 on the season.

HC, Harlan battle for 12 innings

The host Black Bears scored the winning run in the 12th inning on Tuesday as Harlan County claimed a 9-8 over Harlan.

The game was tied 8-8 at the end of the seventh inning.

Neither team scored from the eighth inning to the 11th frame.

HCHS junior Isaac Kelly singled with two outs in the 12th inning. He swiped second base and scored when Tristan Cooper’s fly ball to right field was dropped.

Cooper, Carter Howard and Kelly each singled twice for the Bears. Jonah Swanner, Braydon Burton, Will Cassim, Aiden Craig and Samuel Henson and Braydon Burton added one single each.

Freshman Baylor Varner led the Dragons with a double and single. Jared Moore, a sophomore, had two singles. Chris Rouse, Aiden Johnson, Eli Freyer and Jaedyn Gist each single once.

Sophomore Alex Creech was Harlan County’s starter. He worked 7 2/3 innings with 14 strikeouts and four walks.

Senior Brayden Blakley pitched two innings for the Bears. He gave up three runs on two hits with two strikeouts and four walks.

Senior Karsten Dixon (3-1) went the final two and 1/3 innings with one hit and three strikeouts.

Luke Luttrell, an eighth-grader, started on the mound for Harlan. He gave up five runs on seven hits, with two strikeouts and four walks. Moore pitched 6 2/3 innings in relief, allowing four runs on four hits. He recorded five strikeouts and five walks.

The Black Bears are 4-0 in district play, while Harlan dropped to 1-3.