Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 29, 2013

THE WEEKLY CYCLE: ‘Cats, Lions worth ticket

ASHLAND — Still steadily chomping on some bubble gum — I can only imagine the rubbery tastelessness if he hadn’t exchanged it for a fresh piece since the first pitch — Ashland baseball coach Jeff Wilcox stayed energetic at third base, shouting encouragement to his batters as inning after inning transpired.

The 57-year-old couldn't believe his eyes when he turned around to glance at the crowd during the late moments of Tuesday's 12-inning duel with Boyd County.

“Nobody was leaving,” he said.

What shocked him most was that among those staying put sat Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox.

“My mom and dad, their bedtime is 8 o’clock, and they were still here,” Wilcox said with a smile afterward. “I couldn't believe it.”

Three hours and 40 minutes after the very first pitch, Jared Slone poked a lined shot down the left-field line to bring in the winning run (Jake Hall) and Ashland ended perhaps the longest game ever to be played in the Tomcat-Lion longstanding series.

Here’s the amazing thing: It didn’t even reach the halfway point of the longest high school game ever reported — California schools San Lorenzo and Hayward played 25 total innings spread over two days back in 1975.

But, the game certainly accounted for yet another scintillating chapter inside the ongoing storybook written about this rivalry.

Last week, the Shortstop gave his readers some figures to fixate upon. He should’ve gone back even further…

Try this one on for size: Since the start of 2010, Boyd County and Ashland have met 12 times. Each team is 6-6, and each team has scored 45 runs.

Double check me on this, but I’m pretty sure it can’t get any closer. That is the mark of a true rivalry.

Single

‰A couple more notes about Ashland-Boyd County baseball:

— You don’t have to dig through the record books to find the last extra-inning affair between the Lions and Tomcats. Boyd County beat Ashland 2-0 in eight innings in the 2012 64th District championship.

— With two one-run games so far, it’s beginning to look like 2004, when all four meetings resulted in one-run decisions.

— Logan Salow threw 82 pitches on Tuesday, the most the future Kentucky preferred walk-on has tossed all season. He fanned 11 hitters over five innings.

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