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Harrison gets over the hump, wins first region title in a decade

Photos by Marshall Canupp, WCYN.

CYNTHIANA — Harrison County is the most decorated program in the history of 10th Region baseball.  They had won 21 regional titles out of the 37 times the 10th Region Tournament has been played along with 44 district championships. However, they had not made it to the state tournament since 2013.

Brian Milam of WKYT took a closer look at the history of baseball in Harrison County.

That drought is partly due to the Camels of Campbell County.

In 2021, Campbell County defeated Harrison County 8-5 in the championship game. 

Harrison County was a district runner-up last year, and they drew Campbell County in the first round of regionals.  As the road team on their own hilltop, they lost on a two-run walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 7th inning. 

The Thorobreds got over that 10-year hump by trampling Campbell County 11-1 in 6 innings on Thursday in the 10th Region Championship.

To start the game, Campbell County lead-off batter Zach Franzen drew a full count from Harrison County starter JD Kendall and hit a double to start the game.

JD Kendall has been a solid number two/three, with a 2.38 ERA across 50 innings pitched. 

Without 1 out, Harrison Couty intentionally walked Aydan Hamilton to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Aydan Hamilton is signed to play baseball at the University of Kentucky.  Hamilton had 47 hits at a .416 batting average with 10 doubles, 4 homeruns, and 35 RBIs. 

The intentional walk worked out for the Breds, as the next two batters grounded out to end the top of the 1st inning.

Things got started in the bottom of the 3rd inning after Campbell County walked two batters with 1 out, putting ‘Breds on 1st and 2nd with.  

After a passed ball, it was Jashon Lewis on 3rd with Elijah Harris on 2nd with Cliffy McIlvain at the plate. 

“In close games you got to do what it takes to win” said Coach Whitaker on the WCYN postgame.

With that being said, Coach Whitaker called for a sacrifice squeeze bunt, which Harrison County executed perfectly. Harrison County had 4 sac bunts in the game.

The Thorobreds came out of the gate with a 1-0 lead after three innings of play. 

Down to the bottom of the 4th, Mason Smiley started the inning with a lead-off single.

The Harrison County offense continued to “do what it takes” as their heavy-hitter Malachi Feedback put down a sac bunt.  Smiley advanced to 2nd base.  That’s when the floodgates opened with 1 out with 5 straight Harrison hits.

Harrison County Breds Senior Malachi Feedback lays down a bunt to advance Elijah Harris to second.

JD Kendall singled, putting runners on 1st and 3rd.  

Sophomore catcher Brian Vaughn singled up the middle, scoring Smiley from 3rd, making it a 2-0 game.

Jashon Lewis followed with his own single up the middle making it 3-0.

With Harrison County up 3-0 in the 4th inning and two runners on, Campbell County skipper Scott Schweitzer made a change at pitcher. 

Campbell County’s three-pitcher Brady Kramer finished with 3.1 innings pitches, 5 runs of 5 hits, and 2 walks.

The pitching change didn’t stop the offense.  Elijah Harris and Cliffy McIlvain would hit back-to-back doubles making the score 6-0.

Harrison County Junior Elijah Harris celebrates a double.

Cameron White would single to score McIlvain for the last run of their 6-run inning.

Campbell County had a runner on 2nd with no outs in three separate innings.  That runner would only score once in the top of the 5th, making the score 7-1. 

The Breds would answer back and hang another crooked number on the board in the bottom half of the inning.  

CMcIlvain singled to score Harris, who walked earlier in the inning, making it 8-1 ‘Breds.

Corey Vaughn, who was the region’s best hitter in the regular season, got his first hit of the postseason with a two-run no-doubt homerun to left field. 

Harrison County ended up short-gaming the two-time defending region champions 11-1 in 6 innings.  Malachi Feeback stole 3rd, and the catcher made an errant throw down allowing him to score and end the game. 

JD Kendall was named player of the game.  Despite all the offense in the game, Kendall threw 6 innings, giving up only 1 run off 4 hits and 2 walks to a solid hitting Camel offense.

Harrison County Senior JD Kendall sends a pitch to the diamond.

The ‘Breds proudly hoisted their new trophy as “Go Breds Go” played throughout Mac Whitaker Field, along with closing minutes of Harrison County’s region softball win on WCYN.

Both teams took a parade around Cynthiana on buses with fans following. 

Harrison County moves on to play 15th Region champion Pikeville on Friday at 5 p.m. at Counter Clocks Field in Lexington. 

2023 10th Region Baseball Champions – Harrison County Thorobreds

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