The Hazard Bulldogs began post season play by meeting the Buckhorn Wildcats on the diamond. The Bulldogs won both regular season games, and were looking for a win to put them in the title game.
The Bulldogs started the game with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. Cole Ratliff reached on a fielder’s choice and used the Wildcats’ miscues to come around to score (1-0).
Hazard broke the game open in the second inning, plating four runs to take the 5-0 lead. Blake Nidiffer started things off with a walk. Nidiffer used a pair of errors to reach third, and then came home on an Andy Baker single.
Baker along with Devin Morris and Rudy Akemon strung together a trio of singles. They would all score before the inning was over, advancing by taking advantage of Buckhorn’s errors (Griffin Wells sacrificed the final run of the inning across).
Neither team would garner a base runner in the third inning. However, the Bulldogs would go back to work in the fourth inning, putting a cap on the game.
Andy Baker picked up his second single of the game, and worked his way into scoring position. Baker then scored off a hit by Rudy Akemon (6-0).
Cole Ratliff drew a walk to join Akemon on base. Both would score on a three-run blast by Griffin Wells (9-0).
Hazard rounded out their scoring in the fourth inning as Coby Cumbow drew a walk, and scored off a double by Ryan Smith (10-0). Smith completed the offensive barrage when he touched the plate after a Blake Lockhart single (11-0).
The Bulldog defense held in the top half of the fifth inning, bringing the game to a close. Devin Morris got the win for Hazard, going 5 innings, with 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk and 11 strikeouts.
Hazard (11) Rudy Akemon 2 runs, 2 hits and 1 RBI, Cole Ratliff 2 runs, Griffin Wells 1 run, 2 hits and 4 RBI, Coby Cumbow 1 run, Ryan Smith 1 run, 2 hits and 1 RBI, Blake Nidiffer 1 run, Blake Lockhart 1 hit and 1 RBI, Andy Baker 2 runs, 2 hits and 1 RBI and Devin Morris 1 run and 1 hit.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.