The Bell County Bobcats are on pace for the their first winning season since they were 13th Region runners up in 2009. Even though they didn’t put together the performance they would have liked in Wednesday’s 10-2 loss to Harlan County, the Bobcat did have one big positive in that game. Junior Evan Brock returned to the team after missing the first six weeks of the season due to illness.
“Evan is one of our starters and that was the first game he’s actually played. He’s going to be somewhere in our lineup every game and he’ll make us a whole lot better,” Bobcat coach Scott Chaney said. “We’re glad to have him back.”
Brock started at second base on Wednesday and batted sixth in the lineup. He had a single, stole a base and was also hit by a pitch.
He rejoins the team at a pivotal point in the season. After going 8-26 in 2012 the Bobcats improved to 13-16 last year, Chaney’s first as the team’s coach. Bell currently sits at 10-7 and are 2-2 in 52nd District play.
Second place in the district will be on the line as the Bobcats play at Middlesboro on Monday and then host the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday. Bell rounds out the week with home games against defending 13th Region champion North Laurel and Williamsburg.
With several winnable games the following two weeks, the Bobcats appear very likely to finish with a record over .500. But a strong showing this week can give Bell County a much more successful season than most thought would be possible.
The starting lineup is made of mostly juniors that now have two and a half years of varsity experience. They’ve played the tougher teams on their schedule close for the most part and figure to be tough out come the postseason.
“We’ don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Chaney said. “With this team we’ve got, we’re just trying to get better every game and learn how to win.”