BASEBALL: Harley, Case shine for Bearcats in sunny Florida

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By John Herndon

Anderson County baseball began to warm up last week in Florida.

“The week showed us what we already knew,” Barnes said of the annual spring break trip to the Florida Beach Bash at Fort Walton Beach.

“We have potential to be a pretty good team, but we must play nearly flawless to win,” Barnes continued.

Anderson won two of five games and now stands at 4-8 on the year,
After one-sided losses to Barren County (15-8) and Lone Oak (16-4) to start the week, Anderson picked up a big win when the Bearcats beat Glasgow 4-3 last Tuesday. Junior Landon Case went the distance, scattering eight hits and allowing only one earned run. Case also got the game-winning RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.

“It was a huge win for us,” said Anderson coach L.W. Barnes. “The biggest key was an awesome pitching performance that didn’t allow the game to get away from us early.”

Anderson also beat Campbellsville on Thursday when Michael Harley pitched all eight innings and did not give up an earned run in a 2-1 win.

“He had total control of all three pitches and he constantly kept Campbellsville off balance with an effective curve and change-up,” Barnes said.

Clay Guffey drove in Case with the winning run in the top of the eighth inning.

In the final game in Florida, Russell County defeated the Bearcats 12-6, scoring seven unearned runs in the first inning and 10 unearned runs for the game.

“A huge highlight was the effectiveness of Steven Watts in a relief role,” Barnes said. “He pitched 3-plus innings of excellent baseball.
“Our defense did make positive strides. Our pitching, at times, was really good. Offensively, we are still hitting the ball hard. We have out-hit or nearly out-hit every team we have played this year.”

Bearcats to host Shelby Thursday
The Bearcats host Shelby County Thursday in a district contest. Despite losing seven seniors off last year’s regional champs and all other top regulars to first-year Collins, Shelby has opened at 8-3 and is undoubtedly the surprise team of the region.

“I know Bart (Roettger, the Shelby coach) will have them ready to play, no matter who is on the roster,” Barnes said.

“We are in for a challenge and I expect a close, hard-fought game on Thursday.”