TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
CORBIN — The South Laurel Cardinals closed out 50th District play Tuesday with an 8-1 win over Corbin, improving Wynn Harris' squad to a perfect 6-0 on the season.
With the Cardinals set to face fourth seed Williamsburg in the upcoming district tournament, Harris said the Cardinals will now focus on improving between now and the time post-season play begins.
“I’m proud of my kids for the way they've played in the district this year and this was one of our goals coming into the season,” Harris said. “From this point on we’ll work on the things that we need to improve and get ready for the district tournament.
“This is really like another preseason for us because wins really don't mean anything, because your goal is to be in position to play well in the post-season,” he added. “Our focus shifts to Williamsburg and getting ready for them in the first round of the district tournament.”
With the Cardinals having locked up the top seed Monday, Corbin coach Rob Ledington said his team was playing for pride Tuesday. The bad news is the Redhounds came up short for the second straight day when after three scoreless innings, costly errors opened the gate for South Laurel midway through the game.
Much like South Laurel, Ledington said his team's focus now has to shift to improving as a team as they get set for post-season play where they'll play Whitley County after splitting (1-1) the regular season series.
“Chad (Brown) pitched it real well for a while, but we had that one bad inning where we didn't execute and that kind of got them going,” Ledington said. “They’re a good ball club and they started hitting a little bit and kind of roughed us up.
“We never did get anything going offensively, so that hurt us,” he added. “What we'll do is from this point on is try to get better for post-season play. We’ll keep grinding, keep working, keep taking extra swings and ground balls and do whatever we can do from a coaching perspective to help these kids improve as a team.”
Zach Allen got the win for the Cardinals after giving up one run on two hits through four innings of work. Allen also struck out three batters and walked two.
Alex Sears led the way offensively for the Cardinals with a pair of extra base hits and three RBIs in a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. Allen, Trey Martin, Matt Slavey and Brennan Miller also tallied two hits each. Austin Moore was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Corbin was kept quiet at the plate for the second straight game. The Redhounds managed just two hits and managed just one baserunner in the final three innings when Taylor Combs was hit by a pitch.
All was quiet until the Cardinals got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning thanks to a triple by Sears and an RBI single to right field off the bat of Martin.
Corbin answered in the home-half of the fourth inning when Kevin Goins lined a singled past the shortstop to bring Taylor Combs in from third to tie things up at one run apiece.
The Cardinals broke things open in the fifth inning thanks to six hits and a pair of errors by the Corbin defense to extend the gap to 8-1.
Quinton Barnett pitched a perfect seventh inning to close things out for the Cardinals as they improve to 15-3 on the season. Corbin falls to 11-10, just one game above .500 on the year.