By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
SOUTH LAUREL — Last week South Laurel coach Wynn Harris said his team needed to win Monday’s series opener against Corbin to avoid having to win the second game on the road to lock up the district’s top seed.
Harris’ South Laurel Cardinals clinched the top seed for the upcoming 50th District Tournament with a 3-0 win over the Redhounds, thanks to a combined one-hit effort by Austin Vigeant, Trey Martin and Alex Sears.
The win improves South Laurel's district record to 5-0 on the season puts them in the No. 1 spot where they’ll face Williamsburg in the opening round of the district tournament.
In addition to pitching a hitless seventh inning to close out the game and pick up the save, Sears was 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of runs scored.
Corbin’s Kevin Goins turned in a solid effort for the Redhounds, going the distance and giving up three runs (none earned) on six hits, with five strikeouts and a pair of walks in the game.
After the win, Harris said he was happy with the way his team played and said he felt like with the district schedule all but behind them his team could start working on improving as the latter part of the season takes shape.
“This win allows us to start thinking about cleaning ourselves up,” Harris said. “I was really proud of our guys for their effort because Corbin threw a really good pitcher at us.
“He (Goins) kept us off balance all night, but we were able to take advantage of a couple mistakes that they made, but other than that they played a very good baseball game,” he added.
On the other side of things, Corbin coach Rob Ledington said he felt like the difference in the game was a mental block. He said his Redhounds needed to get past whatever fear factor that’s in their head when they play South Laurel.
“Three unearned runs. We come out here and boot routine ground balls and we have a passed ball that scores a run,” Ledington said. “Bottom line, I told my guys that we play like we’re scared to death against this team, like we’re playing the New York Yankess.
“They’re a decent club and I’ll give them that,” he added. “But they’re not great and they’re not awesome. If we don’t play timid and play with a little bit of confidence, maybe we can beat somebody like this.”
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Martin reached on an error by Corbin’s Keaton Burton and eventually came around to score after another Redhound error, this one charged to shortstop Corey Ledington.
Back-to-back errors in the third inning helped extend the Cardinals’ lead to 2-0 after Alex Sears singled and came in to score when Ledington misplayed a two-out ground ball off the bat of Martin.
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