LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
HARLAN - The North Laurel 10-11 All Stars punched their ticket to the state tournament with a 6-1 win over Corbin Sunday. It was the same score and same result as the previous day with North Laurel working their way out of the loser’s bracket to claim the district title.
The way North Laurel recorded the 6-1 win was also very similar to the previous game with Corbin. Strong pitching held the Corbin bats in check while Colby Howard powered the offense with another home run.
North Laurel will begin play in the state tournament Saturday at Prestonsburg.
“It’s the first time for me. It’s the first time for these boys. Hopefully, we can put on a good showing,” North Laurel Coach Jason Vanhook said.
Being in unfamiliar territory may have kept North Laurel from a faster start. They managed just one hit in their first two innings against Corbin starter Zach Hash.
“I think the nerves got to them just a little bit,” Vanhook said. “And Corbin had great pitching on the mound, something we didn’t expect with us playing yesterday, but they did. They are a heck of a team.”
North Laurel was getting a solid pitching performance of their own with Blaine Miller keeping Corbin in check as well. In the top of the third, the North Laurel defense probably saved at least one run. After a leadoff walk to Cade Cooney, Garner Chandler slapped a ball that appeared headed for left field. Noah Rogers made a diving stop and tried to throw out the runner while laying on his back. Although the runner was safe at second, Roger’s play kept the runner from going to third. That would be big when Ben Phillips lined out on a good play by Bryson Brock. Had the runner been at third, he would have tagged and scored.