Cornett, sidelined by injuries for three years, caps Harlan win with strikeout


Bob Cornett

Ethan Cornett recorded the final out on Thursday in Harlan’s 9-1 win over East Ridge with a strikeout. Cornett had been sidelined for much of the past three seasons with a shoulder injury.

Ending a four-game losing streak and closing the regular season with a win could have been the story in Harlan’s 9-1 victory Thursday over visiting East Ridge.
It also could have been the four-hitter pitched by Jared Moore, who won for the sixth time as a freshman, or it could have been the three-hit, four-RBI night by senior center fielder Shane Lindsey.
As it turned out, the story of the night came down to the last out as Ethan Cornett moved over from second base to close the game with a strikeout. All of Cornett’s teammates stood behind him as he warmed up before he threw eight pitches to end his high school pitching career, first with a walk and then with a game-ending strikeout.
“It’s the best moment I’ve had all season. Being on that mound again, I felt just like it did before my injury,” said Cornett. “I was running on pure adrenaline. It was a moment I will always remember. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Seeing them all cheering me on made it even more special. Jared pitched a great game and for him to step off and let me get that final out just shows what kind of team we are. We’re family.”
Cornett appeared to be well on his way to becoming Harlan’s ace pitcher for his final two years of high school after throwing a no-hitter against Leslie County as a sophomore before suffering a shoulder injury against Clay County that sidelined him for the season and led to two surgeries. Last season was canceled due to covid, then Cornett tried to pitch again as a senior before hurting the shoulder again.
“He’s learned early in life that our plans don’t always align with God’s plan,” said Cornett’s father, Bob, who is also the pastor of the Liggett Baptist Church. “All his teammates were out there behind him as he warmed up. It was a special moment. He’s overcome a lot with the surgeries. I can’t brag enough on that team.”
Moore struck out seven and walked three and gave up one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings to earn the win on the mound.
Lindsey led the Dragons on offense with a double and two singles. Evan Browning had a double and single. Moore added a single.
Gabe Mullins and Dylan Burdine each had two hits for the 11-17 Warriors.
Harlan (11-19) will play Harlan on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the 52nd District Tournament at HCHS. Middlesboro will play Bell County at 5 p.m. in the first game of the tournament.
East Ridge 100 000 0 — 1. 4. 3
Harlan 133 110 x — 9. 6. 2
Burde, Robinson (3), Blackburn (5), Dotson (7) and Robinette; Moore, Cornett (7) and Lewis. WP — Moore (6-7). LP — Burde.