Yellow Jackets fall late to host Harlan in district opener

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023

BY PAUL LUNSFORD

Contributing writer

Harlan trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning Monday at home against district-rival Middlesboro.

The Green Dragons pushed across three runs and escaped with a 4-3 win to snap a 13-game losing streak to the Jackets.

Harlan last defeated Middlesboro in 2015.

Since 2007, the Yellow Jackets have posted a 30-2 record against Harlan.

Baylor Varner (3-1) pitched six innings for the Dragons. He recorded 12 strikeouts and four walks. Luke Luttrell struck out two in the last inning for Harlan, to earn his second save of the season.

Senior Conner Winterberger (0-2) suffered the defeat for Middlesboro.

Senior Jaedyn Gist led the Green Dragons with two singles. Aiden Johnson doubled and Jared Moore singled.

Winterberger had two hits for the Yellow Jackets. Cayden Grigsby and Brady Carroll each had one hit.

Harlan led 1-0 after three innings. The Jackets scored twice in the fourth frame and added another run in the fifth.

Harlan pinch-runner Gunnar Snelling scored the go-ahead run on Aiden Johnson’s double in the sixth inning.

Middlesboro defeated the Dragons 10-4 on Tuesday, but no statistics or scoring information was available at press time.

Middlesboro (5-5) traveled to Cumberland Gap (Tenn.) on Thursday and host Cumberland Gap on Friday.

The Yellow Jackets will visit Log Mountain on Monday to play the Bobcats. Bell County travels to Middlesboro on Tuesday.

The 7-6 Green Dragons hosted Hancock County (Tenn.) on Thursday and Pineville on Friday. Harlan will host Harlan County on Monday, then visits the Black Bears on Tuesday.