MANCHESTER – The 14thregion’s top squad blanked the Tigers 9-1 Friday night, pushing the Tigers to a 10-10 record on the season. Coach Jason Smith didn’t mince words after the game, as he summed up the performance briefly. “Outplayed. Simply outplayed,” said Smith. “We just couldn’t find a groove against Hazard. Hats off to them, they’re a top-notch group, but we’re better than what we played.”

The Tigers gave up 17 hits in the contest, allowing Hazard to simply spray the field with offense from side-to-side. “I think their bats were ready to catch on fire after the 5thinning,” said Smith. “They put on a hitting clinic. Our pitcher’s (Blake Mills, Dalen Couch) threw the ball well, but Hazard had a laser-like focus in the box tonight,” quipped Smith.

Clay County was led offensively by John Gilbert and Colby Howard, each collecting two hits. Austin Smith was the lone Tiger with an RBI. Connor Farmer and John Gilbert both smacked doubles in the loss. “We had a few solid hits, all hard-hit line drives, but couldn’t capitalize with runner’s on,” said Smith. “We got away from what gave us our success against Middlesboro, but Hazard had very solid pitching.

Batting – John Gilbert (2-4); Chandler Hacker (1-3); Colby Howard (2-3); Connor Farmer (1-3). Pitching – Blake Mills 3.2 IP, 10 hits, 5 runs, 1 K; Dalen Couch 3.2 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 K’s. 

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