Middlesboro overcame a rough start against Harlan on Monday with a 10-run third inning and held on for a 15-10 win over the Green Dragons in 52nd District baseball.
“We stayed in it and battled back and did what we had to do to win it,” Yellow Jacket coach John Smith said. “It’s an ugly win, but we’ll take it. We’re not playing Middlesboro baseball right now and the guys know it. We’re hoping it clicks and we can turn it around at some point.
The Dragon jumped out to an 8-1 lead after batting in the second inning. Tye Patrick and Jacob Clark had RBI singles in the first and Clark capped a six-run second inning with a two-run homer. Jacob Hensley added a two-run single in that second frame.
Middlesboro was down, but not out. The Jackets got a two-run double from senior Lucas Crawford and Cole Frazier added an RBI ground out. Jake Brock scored on wild pitch for the second time in the game to bring Middlesboro within 8-5 after two.
Three Harlan pitchers combined to hit two batters and walk three more during the Jackets’ big third inning. One run scored as Matthew Mike reached on an error and Tyler McCullough dropped in an RBI single. Brock was hit by a pitch for the third time in the game to force in the tying run and Frazier belted a bases-clearing double to the fence in right-center as Brock scored his third run of the game to put the Jackets up 11-8.
Brandon Hale and McCullough added RBI singles and runs also scored when Tyler Prater drew a walk with the bases loaded and on a Mike ground out as Middlesboro went up 15-8.
Harlan got two runs back in the top of the fourth on a two-run homer by Ben Abraham. But 15-10 would be as close as it got.
Crawford took over on the mound for Tyler Yoakum and held the Dragons scoreless over the final three innings. He allowed just one hit, struck out three, walked one and hit a batter to pick up a save. Yoakum was the winning pitcher despite giving up 10 runs, five earned, on 13 hits over five innings.
“Yoakum wasn’t great tonight. He wasn’t up the standard he’s been at all year,” Smith said. “He left the ball up in the zone and Harlan swung the bats well and put it in play. They hit a couple of homers off us and put pressure on us.”
For the Dragons, Patrick took the loss in relief. Five Harlan pitcher combined to walk eight and hit five batters in the game as Middlesboro scored their 15 runs on just eight hits.
Jacob Hensley, Patrick, Caleb Hogue, Noah Busroe and Clark each had two hits for the Dragons. Abraham and Clark had homers. Andrew Saylor, Austin Wilson and Corey Burns also singled for Harlan.
Frazier drove in four runs with a double and a ground out and Crawford also doubled to drive in two. Hale and McCullough both had two hits while Prater and Mike also singled.
Middlesboro (10-9, 1-2 in district play) and Harlan (8-7, 0-3) are scheduled to play again today in Harlan, weather permitting.
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|Austin Miller, Tye Patrick (2), Jacob Hensley (3), Jacob Clark (3), Andrew Saylor (6) and Saylor, Miller (2); Tyler Yoakum, Lucas Crawford (5) and Tyler Prater. W — Yoakum. L — Patrick. Sv — Crawford. HR — H: Clark, Ben Abraham.|