Leading 4-3 in the top of the sixth inning and Green County one hit from taking the lead, Barren County coach Jay Dee Scott asked his pitcher Reece Harper if he wanted the ball. Harper said, ‘Yes’ and proceeded to strike out the side Tuesday to help Barren County secure the win and remain undefeated in the 10-Under Cal Ripken District 6 Baseball Tournament at Jackie Browning Park.
“These kids are playing with a lot of heart,” Scott said. “They’ve worked very hard leading up to this tournament and they want this bad.”
Barren County, which opened the tournament with an 11-1 victory over Hart County, advances to Thursday’s semifinal matchup. The first pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
Green County opened the game Tuesday with a run in the top of the first inning. But Barren County came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
With one out, Tyler Jones singled and went to second on a passed ball. Jones later came around to score on a single by Holden Bullock.
The score remained tied at 1-1 until the bottom of the third inning when Barren County pushed two more runs across the plate.
Hunter Scott singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. He went to third on a passed ball and scored when Gage Goodman reached on an error. Goodman then went to second on a passed ball and later scored on a single by Jones to give Barren County a 3-1 advantage after three innings.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well, but I have to give credit to Green County. That’s a very good team,” Scott said.
Barren County made it 4-1 with a solo run in the fourth inning. Bullock doubled and was replaced by pinch runner Jordan Hare. Hare went to third on a passed ball and scored when Blaye Key hit into a fielder’s choice.
Green County came roaring back with two runs in the top of the fifth inning off of Goodman, who came in to relieve Harper, to pull within one at 4-3.
After holding Barren County in the bottom of the inning, Green County came up in the top of the sixth and put its first two batters on base.
But that’s when Harper went to work and struck out the next three Green County batters.
“Reece has always been wanting to close a game,” Scott said. “He loves pitching, so I asked him if he wanted the ball. He said he wanted it so we went with him.”
Also at Jackie Browning Park, Cumberland County beat Metcalfe County 8-2 and Scottsville beat Cumberland County 18-8.
In other tournament action, Metcalfe County and Green County advanced in the 12-Under Cal Ripken District Tournament in Greensburg.