SULPHUR — Junior Ricky Harrison’s gutsy performance on the mound powered fifth-seeded Runnels to a 7-2 upset of No. 1 and defending state champion Claiborne Christian ON Thursday in the Division V semifinals at the LHSAA state baseball tournament.
Harrison gave up two runs in the first inning, but shut out the Crusaders the rest of the way and pitched a complete game. He held Claiborne (17-7) to four hits while striking out eight in the game played at McMurry Park.
“He has really good stuff and he is a really talented kid,” Runnels coach Ben Young said. “We knew that if he pitched strikes and got ahead of batters, that we would be successful. We didn’t waver when we got down and just kept sticking to the approach.”
Harrison also had a big day at the plate, going 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a double. He tied the game at 2-2 with a two-run double up the middle with one out in the top of the third. Harrison also scored the go-ahead run on a single to right field by Jake Best.
Claiborne Christian threatened in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings but the Raiders (15-13) got out of both unscathed. He walked two batters to start the sixth but struck out back-to-back batters. The Crusaders had runners on with two outs in the seventh before Harrison got Colt Hamilton to pop up to end the game.
Claiborne took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Jon Mical Hill’s two-run triple.