By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
NORTH LAUREL — Senior Night turned out to be a great day for North Laurel’s lone senior Marcus Carson.
The University of Kentucky baseball signee played a big part in the Jaguars’ 3-2 win over Harlan County Thursday by using his speed on the base paths along with his arm on the mound and play in the outfield.
Carson scored the game-winning run after a run-scoring triple by Ethan Maxey in the fifth inning, as the senior center fielder went 1-for-2 with a double, stolen base and two runs scored. He is also 10-for-11 at the plate during North Laurel’s past three games.
“Marcus is 10-for-11 and I’m telling you, he’s been seeing the ball extremely well,” North Laurel coach Darren McWhorter said. “He’s been hitting it extremely well and it’s a good way to send Marcus out on Senior Night as well.
“It was his drawing the walks, stealing and moving the runner over that turned out to be big,” he added. “When he gets on base, he’s a threat to score. It’s amazing what he means to this team right here. When he goes, we go and that’s the way it has been all year and we’re sure going to miss him.”
Things didn’t start well for the Jaguars (18-11-1), as Harlan County scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but North Laurel responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning, as Carson led the inning off with a double and scored after a run-scoring double by Maxey. Austin Thompson tied the game up at two apiece with a ground out and the game remained that way until the fifth inning when Carson scored the eventual game-winning run.
“It was a good win,” McWhorter said. “I was kind of expecting this region tournament atmosphere for this game and that’s exactly what we got. They are a solid team, right there.
“It shows a lot of grit from our guys to come back from that,” he added. “We were able to do just enough and score just enough to hold them off.”