Mills homers twice as Panthers overpower Harlan


Jon Dickenson

Harlan’s Donovan Montanaro applied a tag in action earlier this season. The Dragons fell 13-1 to Knox Central on Thursday.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

Knox Central sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning and six scored runs to take control early on the way to a 13-1 win Thursday at Harlan.
“It was a tough loss tonight. We are a much better team than what we showed,” Harlan coach Lee Freyer said. “That loss is on me. I didn’t have the boys ready to play. No excuses. We have to be better than what we showed tonight.”
Senior right-hander Isaac Mills pitched a five-hitter and held the Dragons scoreless through four innings on the way to earning the win.
Mills also had a big day at the plate, driving in five runs with two homers and a single. Cayden Collins, Casey Bright and Waylon Frazier added two hits each for the 8-7 Panthers.
Cameren Maples, Noah Lewis, Aiden Johnson, John Mark Bryson and Matthew Nunez each had singles for the Dragons.
Lewis suffered the loss on the mound as he allowed five runs (two earned) in allowing the first five Panthers to reach base. Jared Moore gave up six runs (four earned) in three innings. Johnson pitched 1 2/3 no-hit innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Maples recorded the final out after giving up two runs on Mills’ homer.
“Knox hit the ball exceptionally well tonight,” Freyer said. “We have a big park. In the six years I’ve been here, there’s only been five home runs that I can remember. Mills from Knox hit two of those tonight. Hats off to them.”
Harlan (8-10) will travel to Williamsburg on Friday before playing at Harlan County on Monday in the first of two district games agains the Black Bears.
Knox Central 614 02 — 13 10. 0
Harlan 000 01 — 1 5. 4
Mills and Collins; Lewis, Moore (1) Johnson (4), Maples (5) and Browning, Lewis (1). WP — Mills. LP — Lewis. HR — Mills, 2.