Fast start sends Yellow Jackets to district win over Harlan


Jon Dickenson

Harlan’s Jaeden Gist slid home during last week’s win over Bell County. The Dragons fell 7-3 on Tuesday at Middlesboro. The two district rivals will play again Wednesday at Harlan.

Middlesboro raced to a 5-0 lead after two innings on the way to a 7-3 district win Tuesday over the visiting Harlan Green Dragons.
Sophomore right-hander Case Bayless pitched a five-hitter with six strikeouts and three walks in a complete-game effort for the Jackets, who improved to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in district action.
“It was a tough loss tonight,” Harlan coach Lee Freyer said. “I was worried we’d come out flat and we did. We had some mental mistakes that cost us some runs. They did a good job of putting the ball in play. Getting ahead early in the count makes the pitchers’ job easier. They did that more often than we did tonight. (Middlesboro) Coach (John) Smith’s teams are always well-coached. They don’t beat themselves. You have to earn the win.”
Kameron Wilson had a double and single with two RBI to lead the Jackets. Connor Mason added two singles. Bayless had a triple and scored twice. Yousiff Nabat contributed a double. Warren Vaught and Lane Bayless added one single each.
Andrew Roark had a three-run single to lead the Dragons, who fell to 8-8 overall and 2-1 in the district. Aiden Johnson and Dawson Irvin had two singles each.
John Mark Bryson suffered the loss on the mound as he gave up five runs on three hits in one-plus inning. Evan Browning allowed two runs on five hits in five innings, with six strikeouts and four walks.
The two teams play again Wednesday at Harlan.
Harlan 000 300 0 — 3. 5. 1
Middlesboro 140 110 x — 7. 8. 1
Bryson, Browning (2) and Lewis; Bayless and Hale. WP — Bayless. LP — Bryson (2-3).