By John Middleton For the Times-Tribune
HARLAN — The Harlan 11-year old All-Stars found themselves in a familiar position on Friday — trailing in the late innings. This time, however, Harlan was unable to erase the deficit and fell to North Laurel 7-2 in an elimination game.
North Laurel jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the first inning.
Noah Rogers led off the inning with a single to left field, followed by a walk by Blake VanHook. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Rogers later scored on a second wild pitch. Colby Howard struck out in the next at-bat, but advanced to second on a dropped third strike. VanHook scored on the play. Howard scored when Cole Kelly doubled to right field.
Harlan responded with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Caleb reached base on a fielder’s choice. Jordan Steele drove in the runner with a double to left field.
North pushed its lead to 5-1 with two runs in the third inning.
Howard singled and later scored on a triple from Seth McClure. McClure scored when Kelley singled to right field.
Ty Baker scored in the fourth inning and Tanner Bowling crossed home in the fifth as North Laurel stretched its lead to 7-1.
Harlan scored its final runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Jay Harris started the offense with a two-out single. He later scored when Lane Jones delivered a bunt single.
Harris recorded six strikeouts, while giving up eight hits and two walks in five innings in the loss. Adkins struck out one in one hitless inning of relief.
Steele had a double and a single to power the Harlan offense. Jones delivered two singles, while Adkins, Harris and Josh Turner each added a single.
Rogers allowed four hits and struck out one batter in 2 1/3 innings in the start to claim the win. Kelley had four strikeouts and didn’t allow a hit in two innings of relief. Cameron Cotton struck out one batter and allowed four hits in 1 1/3 inning. Baker recorded the final out.
Kelley recorded a double and a single to pace North Laurel. Bowling contributed two singles. McClure tripled, while Rogers, Howard and Baker each added a single.
North Laurel will face Corbin in the championship today at 4 p.m.