On Friday, the Hazard Bulldogs took to the diamond in an attempt to capture the 14th region All “A” title. The Bulldogs opponent would be the Leslie County Eagles.
After a brief delay, the two teams hit the field, with Hazard getting the first runner aboard as Griffin Wells was hit by the first pitch. The miscue came back on Leslie County as Wells worked his way around the bases and scored on a Devin Morris sacrifice (1-0).
The Bulldogs added another run in the second inning to take the 2-0 lead. Griffin Wells picked up an RBI as he got a single that would score Andy Baker from third base.
The lead grew to 4-0 in the fourth inning when Hazard managed to tap the dish twice. Bailey Blair and Andy Baker both turned walks into runs, scoring off sacrifices by Blake Lockhart and Blake Nidiffer.
The Bulldogs got single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, boosting their margin to 6-0. Rudy Akemon (walk) scored in the fourth off a single by Cole Ratliff, and Andy Baker (error) crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Hazard rounded out their scoring in the seventh inning with a three run rally. Cole Ratliff, Ryan Smith and Bailey Blair each scored a run in the inning. The rally lifted the Bulldogs to the 9-0 win.
Ryan Smith picked up the win on the mound for Hazard. Smith went six innings with 0 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks and 11 strike outs. Blake Nidiffer closed out the game with 1 inning pitched, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Hazard (9) Griffin Wells 1 run, 1 hit and 1 RBI, Rudy Akemon 1 run, Cole Ratliff 1 run, 2 hits and 1 RBI, Devin Morris 1 RBI, Ryan Smith 1 run, 1 hit and 1 RBI, Bailey Blair 2 runs, Andy Baker 3 runs, 1 hit and 1 RBI, Blake Lockhart 1 RBI and Blake Nidiffer 1 hit and 1 RBI.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.