Creech fans 12 as Bears improve to 3-0 with victory over Thomas Walker


Kim Henson

Harlan County sophomore Alex Creech, pictured in action Monday against Leslie County, pitched a complete game Tuesday with 12 strikeouts as the Black Bears downed Thomas Walker, Va., 9-4.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

You can add Alex Creech’s name to the list of Harlan County pitchers off to a great start in 2023. The sophomore right-hander struck out 12 and walked only one while pitching a five-hitter Tuesday as the Black Bears overcame a sluggish start to down visiting Thomas Walker, Va., 9-4 and improve to 3-0 on the season.
Junior first baseman Will Cassim led the HCHS offense with two doubles and two walks. Isaac Kelly added two singles with an RBI and a steal of home. Braydon Burton had a double, while Brayden Blakley, Samuel Henson and Kaden Boggs contributed singles.
Jacob McCurry had three of the Pioneers’ five hits. Adam Hollinsworth and Ellis Hoskins had one single each,.
’Blakley singled in the first inning, took second on a passed ball and scored on Kelly’s hit. Cassim’s double put runners on second and third with one out, but the Bears were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
Thomas Walker scored three runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth to go up 4-1 before the Harlan County offense finally woke up with a six-run fifth. Burton and Henson each had RBI hits, and the Bears capitalized on two errors.
The Bears scored two more runs in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. Kelly, Cassim and Tristan Cooper drew consecutive walks, leading to two unearned runs on an error and a steal of home by Kelly.
Harlan County will face its toughest test of the season Friday at home against Clay County.
Thomas Walker, Va. 000 310 0 — 4. 5. 4
Harlan County 100 062 x — 9. 8. 1
C. Grabeel, Hollinsworth (6) and Cheek; Creech and Kelly. WP — Creech (1-0). LP — C. Grabeel.