Despite being out-hit 12-7, second-seeded Harlan turned back sixth-seeded Waverly-Shell Rock 7-6 in the Class 3A semifinals Friday at Principal Park and moved into the championship game.
After Waverly-Shell Rock jumped on the board in the top of the first with a three-spot, Harlan answered back two frames later with a four-run third.
Harlan began the four-run rally off a Joey Moser walk and was later moved to third by his brother, Jared Moser, with a double. But it was Ryan Doran who delivered the biggest knock, as he crushed a three-run home run into the right field bleachers to make it a 3-3 game. Both Jared Moser and Doran accounted for five of Harlan’s seven hits, with Moser going 2-for-4 and Doran a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
The Cyclones continued to capitalize on a total of three WSR errors, as starting pitcher Connor Bruck walked and later came home on failed throw-down attempt to nab him swiping third.
Harlan added to its lead in the fifth off a Nick Foss RBI triple, as he ended his day going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Bruck held Waverly-Shell Rock to its three earned runs on nine hits while walking three and striking out five over six frames to notch the win. But the Go-Hawks refused to go quietly, as Carson Kallenberger singled to set up Jeremy Chaplin’s two-run home run to left in the top of the seventh, closing the deficit to just one run. Kallenberger, Chaplin and Carter Langreck combined to notch seven of Waverly’s 12 hits with three RBIs from Chaplin.
Waverly-Shell Rock continued to threaten in the top of the seventh, as Jacob Bartley was relieved after one out by Riley Kohles with runners on first and second with just one out. Kohles issued a walk before a controversial game-ending double play — the umpire called an illegal slide into second — sealed a championship berth for Harlan.
Harlan will square off against the winner of the Game 2 quarterfinals between Heelan and Assumption at 5 p.m. Saturday at Principal Park.