Fast start propels Pineville/Bell past Harlan in District 4 Tournament

By John Henson, Managing Editor

BARBOURVILLE — Pineville/Bell County raced to a 3-0 lead in the first inning Wednesday on the way to a 5-2 win over Harlan in the opening round of District 4 Tournament action Tuesday.
Logan Greene held the Harlan offense in check through five-plus innings as he gave up only one hit while striking out 13 and walking two. Greene fanned six straight after walking Brody Brock to open the game and didn’t allow another base runner until the fourth inning when he walked Jesse Gilbert and gave up a hit to Luke Luttrell.
“The Pineville-Bell pitcher had a really good game on the mound, but I think we helped him a lot too,” said Harlan All-Stars coach Brad Shelton. “Our boys watched a lot of pitches tonight, and after taking a couple pitches they got frustrated with strike zone inconsistency and then they started chasing the ball or stood there with two strikes on the count. “
Pineville/Bell grabbed the early lead against Gilbert as Riley Monhollen was hit by a pitch to open the game and Greene and Braydon Carroll followed with one-out hits for a 1-0 lead. The second run scored on a wild pitch before Ty Mays hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Lane Brigmon hit a ground-run double to open the second inning and scored on a ground out by Tucker Brock.
Gilbert gave up four runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks in two innings. Luttrell pitched four innings, giving up one run on one hit with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
Carroll doubled to open the sixth inning and scored on two wild pitches as Luttrell struck out the side for the second time in four innings.
“Luke kept us in the game for the last four innings. That was one of the best stretches I’ve ever seen Luke pitch,” Shelton said. “He really threw well tonight. I’m proud of our boys. I thought we had a really good chance going into the bottom of sixth inning, with top of the order up at bat, but we just missed to many opportunities earlier in the game to cut into their lead.”
Brody Brock led off the sixth for Harlan with a walk, marking the end of Greene’s night on the mound. Carroll came in to face four batters, striking out two and walking two. Brock scored on an errant throw by Bell catcher Kordell Partin as Morris stole second after walking. Zach Boggs brought in Brock with a two-out single.
Mays came on to pitch at that point and struck out Caiden Jackson with two runners on base to end the game.
“It’s been my honor to coach these young men, and I’m super proud of them,” Shelton said. “As I was telling the boys tonight after the game, when you look at the bracket you notice all these county teams or combined teams and here sits Harlan Little League, who made some noise and we’re just one league. I’m super proud of Harlan Little League.”
Knox County defeated Pulaski County 17-2 and Hazard/Perry blanked North London 10-0 in winners bracket first-round games on Monday. Corbin defeated Jackson County 9-0 in the opening game Wednesday. North London will play Corbin and Pineville/Bell will take on Pulaski County in games Wednesday.
Pineville/Bell 310 001 — 5. 5. 1
Harlan 000 002 — 2. 2. 0
Greene, Carroll (6), Mays (6) and Partin; Gilbert, Luttrell (3) and Shelton. WP — Greene. LP — Gilbert. Sv—Mays.