Bell County falls to Harlan rally in 52nd District title clash

Published 7:51 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

By John Henson

Contributing Sports Writer

While history will show the Harlan Green Dragons broke a nine-year drought between 52nd District Tournament championships on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, coach Lee Freyer knows the process started much earlier.

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“I’m so happy for these players and for this program,” Freyer said Tuesday after the Dragons’ 7-5 win over Bell County. “This district championship didn’t happen tonight. It happened last summer when we committed to the weight room, when we committed to the open fields, and when we adopted that blue collar work ethic. This group puts in a ton of work that most people will never see. I asked them at the beginning of the year. ‘How many of you want to win’? Almost every hand goes up. I followed that up with “how many of you are committed to the work that winning requires.” No hesitation — all hands go up. That’s when you know you have a special group.”

The 22-11 Dragons raced to a 7-0 lead with the help of numerous Bell County mistakes. The Dragons had only two hits but capitalized on seven errors.

Harlan freshman left-hander Luke Luttrell pitched a four-hitter and gave up only two earned runs with three strikeouts and two walks.

“Luke did a phenomenal job on the mound tonight,” Freyer said. “He cruised through the early innings. He had to overcome some adversity late in the game. I am really proud of how his game has grown. Super proud of his composure and consistency tonight. “

Brody Owens had a two-run double to lead the Harlan offense. Eli Freyer added a single.

Cooper Brock, Jackson Walters, Hunter Fuson and Logan Greene had one hit each for the 16-8 Bobcats

“We did a really good job at the plate putting balls in play. We had a lot of competitive at bats,” Freyer said. “We jumped out on them early and continued to play solid defense. That’s the difference in this game. We made the plays when we had to.”

Brock suffered the loss as he allowed seven runs (two earned) on one hit with four strikeouts and three walks in three innings. Joseph Brigmon allowed one hit with seven strikeouts and no walks over four innings.

Both teams advanced to the 13th Region Tournament at Knox Central.


Harlan 052 000 0 — 7. 2. 3

Bell County 000 102 2 — 5. 4. 7

Luttrell and Owens; Brock, Brigmon (4) and Brigmon, Walters (4). WP — Luttrell (5-2), LP — Brock.