By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
CORBIN—It might be early in the season to label games as “big games,” but North Laurel’s 2-1 win over Corbin Thursday was just what the Jaguars needed.
“We needed a good game after losing to South Laurel and getting beat by Harlan after leading going into the seventh inning. We’ve got a lot of guys out here without varsity experience,” North Laurel coach Darren McWhorter said.
Lack of varsity experience didn’t seem to matter to Weston Griebel. The eighth grade lefty allowed the Redhounds just one run before getting relief help from sophomore Zach Hurley.
“(Griebel’s) played against those guys so much,” McWhorter said. “He came in with bases loaded against Somerset with no outs. I told someone this kid has done this his whole life. That’s who he is.”
It didn’t look like a pitcher’s duel in the first inning. North Laurel got a quick run when Marcus Carson reached on an error and took second on a passed ball. An Austin Thompson single drove in the first run.
Corbin tied the game in the bottom of the first. The score didn’t stay tied for long with Ethan Maxey stroking a solo home run in the top of the second inning that would prove to be all the runs the Jaguars needed. It was the second home run of the season for the sophomore catcher.
Griebel pitched three scoreless innings before giving way to Hurley. Hurley pitched the last three for the save.
“Hurley threw really well. It’s just a different look with him a little harder throwing righty,” McWhorter said.
Corbin (4-2) also got a solid performance from Kevin Goins, who went the distance.
“Goins kept us off balance. He located the ball really well and changed speed really well,” McWhorter said. “It was a good game, well-pitched game by both teams and for the most part a pretty error free game.”
It was the second straight loss for Corbin, who fell to Clay County 15-3 in five innings on Wednesday night.
The Jaguars (4-4) won despite being held under four runs for the first time this season.
“We didn’t do a whole lot of hitting. I thought we hit the ball hard at time, just right at them,” McWhorter said.