The Hazard Bulldogs began their race for the 14th region baseball title with the Knott Central Patriots. The Bulldogs won the only regular season game between the two 9-3.
Hazard put runs on the board first, scoring two runs in the third inning. Devin Morris (single) and Andy Baker (error) scored the two runs. Morris on a sacrifice by Rudy Akemon, and Baker on a double by Cole Ratliff (2-0).
The Bulldogs would plate another run in the fifth inning as Cole Ratliff took first base after being hit by a pitch. Ratliff moved around the bases, and eventually scored on a sacrifice by Blake Nidiffer (3-0).
Hazard rounded out the game’s scoring with three runs in the seventh inning. Rudy Akemon (single), Cole Ratliff (single) and Ryan Smith (double) would cross the plate. Akemon and Smith on Patriot errors, while Ratliff scored on Smith’s double (6-0).
The Bulldogs’ defense would stand firm throughout the game, and help Devin Morris pick up the win. Morris went six innings, with 3 hits, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. Griffin Wells closed out the game, throwing one inning with 2 hits, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Hazard (6) Andy Baker 1 run and 1 hit, Rudy Akemon 1 run, 1 hit and 1 RBI, Cole Ratliff 2 runs, 2 hits and 1 RBI, Ryan Smith 1 run, 3 hits and 1 RBI, Blake Nidiffer 1 RBI and Devin Morris 1 run and 2 hits.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.