After dropping two straight, Bell coach Tom Greer shuffled his lineup and the move paid immediate dividends.
New lead-off hitter Kyle Nelson doubled to center on the game’s second pitch and took third on an error. Shawnta Zachery followed with a base hit up the middle to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
Zachery advanced to third on a pair of Jaguar errors and then scored on Spencer Greer’s fly ball to center to make it 2-0.
Starting pitcher Justin Dozier didn’t allow a hit until the third inning and that was the only hit he allowed over 3-1/3 innings. He struck out one and walked two and was charged with just an unearned run in the fourth.
North Laurel’s Sean Evans drew a lead-off walk and was sacrificed to second.
Greer took over on the mound and struck out Tyler Edwards, but Ryan Settlers reached on an error as Evans scored to make it 2-1.
The Bobcats responded by putting up four runs in the bottom of the fourth, all coming after two outs.
Boyd Killion led off with a single to left. Two outs later Robbie Slusher singled to put runners on the corners. One run scored on an error, then Chase Ely singled to put runners on the corners. Matt Simpson followed with a two-run double into the right-center field gap.
He took third on the throw and, after Nelson walked, scored when Zachery’s hard grounder got by North third baseman Logan Howell. That put Bell up 6-1.
The Jaguars got another unearned run in the fifth. Nick Shannon drew a walk, advanced to second on an error and scored on Howell’s base hit.
But that was the only hit Greer gave up over the final 3-2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six, including the final four batters he faced.
Daniel Smith took the loss for North Laurel.
Bell was led by Simpson’s two hits and two RBIs. Nelson and Greer also doubled in the game.
Bell County (4-8) returns to action Monday at Cumberland. North Laurel (5-9) will take on Whitley County today in the Colonel’s invitational tournament. They are scheduled to play Middlesboro and Campbell County, Tenn., on Saturday as the tourney continues.
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North Laurel 000 110 0 — 2 3 6
Bell County 200 400 x — 6 8 3
Smith, Evans (4) and Hicks; Dozier, Greer (4) and Killion. W— Dozier. L—Smith. Sv—Greer.