Tyler Boggs pitched a four-hitter while striking out 12 and James Bond drove in two runs on three hits to lead the Harlan County Black Bears to a 7-0 win at Bell County on Monday.
It was a far cry from last season when the Bobcats were outscored 52-1 in to games against Harlan County. But after getting singles from Dylan Cox and Aaron Jenkins in the first inning, Bell was held to just four base runners the rest of the way.
“Our bunch was a little intimidated coming in (after those games last season) and they were throwing their good pitcher,” Bobcat coach Scott Chaney said. “We were a little timid today, those 12 strikeouts prove it.”
Harlan County got on the board in the second frame. Anthony Jenkins singled and advanced to second on an error, a Bond single put runners at the corners and Zach Doss followed with an RBI ground out.
In the third inning, Andrew Dozier singled for the Bears and stole second. Ground outs by Boggs and Scotty Bailey brought Dozier in to make it 2-0.
Meanwhile, Boggs was cruising. He struck out the side in the second inning and the first two batters in the third before Evan Brock singled. Bailey was able to throw him out trying to steal second to end the inning.
The only other Bobcats to reach base was Jacob Rose on a single with two out in the fourth, Brock on a walk with one out in the sixth and Rose again when he was hit by a pitch to start the seventh.
Harlan County added two runs in the fifth as Boggs doubled and Blake Rutherford followed with an RBI single. Rutherford was picked off at first, but Bailey reached on an error and advanced all the way to third on a Jenkins ground out. Bond’s RBI single made it 4-0.
Bell starter Zach Turner went the first five innings and took the loss. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits while striking out one, walking one and hitting a batter.
The Bears added three runs in the top of the seventh off Caleb Smith to put the game away.
Nick Jarvis and Nick Cornett started the inning with singles and with two out, Bond delivered another RBI single to put runners at the corners. An errant pick-off throw brought the sixth run in and Doss tacked on an RBI single to set the final score at 7-0.
After Rose was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the seventh, Boggs induced a fielder’s choice grounder and then closed out the game with two more strike outs.
“We’ll be missing our starting center fielder (Jeremiah Partin) for the rest of the week and we had a knew guy (Hayden Gilbert) out there. We had some miscommunication out there and let one drop in and another get over our heads,” Chaney said. “We made three or four errors so the score was 7-0, but it was really quite a bit closer than that. I’m just trying to teach this bunch to compete, no matter who they’re playing.”
Harlan County (17-7, 4-1 in district play) and Bell County (10-9, 2-3) meet again today at HCHS as the series continues.
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Harlan Co….011 020 3 — 7 11 0
Bell County..000 000 0 — 0 4 5
Tyler Boggs and Scotty Bailey; Zach Turner, Caleb Smith (6) and Aaron Jenkins. W-Boggs. L-Turner.