By John Henson For the Times-Tribune
HARLAN — On their way to a District 4 title in the 9-10 division a year ago, Knox County defeated North Laurel in the championship game.
North gained a little revenge in the rematch Monday at Harlan in the opening round of the District 4 Tournament for 11-year-olds, edging Knox County 3-2 in a match up of two of the best teams in the field.
“We knew when we got here, from prior years, that it would be a dogfight,” North Laurel coach Jason Van Hook said. “We're just glad to come out on top like we did.”
“It's kind of what we expected coming in. We expected it to be a low-scoring game,” Knox County coach Jimmie Mills said. “We played well tonight. We made some defensive mistakes, and they took advantage of them.”
Colby Howard earned the win, limiting Knox County to four hits and two runs over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two. Tye Howard secured the save as he recored the final two outs with the potential tying run on base after Howard reached his pitch limit.
Middlesboro broke open a close game with a six-run third inning on the way to a 14-4 win in five innings over South London in the opening game of the tournament. Jabari Kyle and Sebastian Wagner each had two singles to lead Middlesboro. David Kyle added one single.
Jabari Kyle pitched two innings. London Stephney pitched one inning. Bradon Ausmus closed the game, giving up one run in two innings.
Cameron Allen and Alec Johnson each had singles for the only South London hits.
Middlesboro will play Harlan at 6 p.m. and North Laurel will take on Corbin at 8 p.m. in the winners bracket semifinals tonight.