The Hazard Bulldogs kicked off their 2016 state baseball tournament with a familiar foe, the North Laurel Jaguars. The Bulldogs defeated the Jaguars 4-3 at home early in the season, and lost the return match 1-9 on the road.
With everything on the line, both teams went with their aces on the mound, and their defenses ready to play. Everyone brought their “A” game, and the run came down to the lone run.
With the score knotted at zero, Hazard broke the ice in the third period. After fouling off a dozen pitches, Devin Morris drove one to the wall for a double. Rudy Akemon followed Morris to the plate, and collected a single.
Morris was able to score on the single, and Akemon moved into scoring position on the throw home. However, the rally would end there (1-0). The Bulldogs would only manage a couple of more base runners down the stretch.
The Bulldogs’ defense stood strong down the stretch, and squashed any threats the Jaguars could muster, securing the 1-0 win. Griffin Wells put out a solid performance on the mound as he went the distance, giving up 8 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks and finished with 8 strikeouts.
Hazard (1) Devin Morris 1 run and 1 hit, and Rudy Akemon 2 hits and 1 RBI.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.