Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 18, 2014

One-run fun: Ashland on smiling side of close game vs. East

Kelley comes up with walk-off hit in 8th inning

ASHLAND — After opening the season with a 2-1 victory, Ashland has had a hard time cracking the close game code.

Three of the Tomcats’ five losses have come by a single run, and that doesn’t include Wednesday night’s 6-2 loss to Boyd County, a game that was tied at 2 apiece heading into the ninth inning.

On Thursday night, however, the Tomcats were finally able to find the correct combination as Austin Kelley delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the eighth inning to propel Ashland past East Carter, 2-1, at Alumni Field.

“To win a one-run game in extra innings, shoot fire, I’m very pleased,” Ashland coach Jeff Wilcox said. “It was about our time (to win a close game).”

Ashland (8-5) had threatened to score in each of its previous at-bats, but was unsuccessful, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth and stranding two more in the seventh.

After some encouragement from his coach, Kelley made sure the Tomcats did not waste another opportunity as he laced a single to right field to plate Aaron Elam, who singled earlier in the inning.

“I just gave him a few words of encouragement,” Wilcox said of his brief conversation with Kelley before the at-bat. “I told him, ‘You are a senior, let’s step up and finish this thing.’ What a great hit he had.”

East Carter (8-11) also had several chances to score a run in the final innings only to come up empty.

Two Raider runners were stranding in the seventh inning, and that was after Tyler Walker was cut down at third base trying to advance on a ball in the dirt. Just as the Tomcats did in sixth inning, East Carter left the bases juiced in the top of the eighth.

“Several base running errors cost us,” East Carter coach Jeremiah Shearer said. “In the seventh, we had a great chance to score a run and took a chance and got thrown out at third, and then got a hit right after that. It could have gone either way, they just broke through before we did.”

It was tough to break through for either side as both teams got excellent pitching performances from both their starters and subsequent relievers.

Evan Cox went seven strong innings for the Tomcats before turning the ball over to Cam Fritz, who closed things out.

Cox struck out eight on the night, but none was bigger than his last as he fanned Blake Dunn to end the East Carter threat in the top of the seventh.

“That is what great pitchers do,” Wilcox said. “They don’t let what is going on around them affect them, they just pitch and take care of things.”

East Carter starter Chandler Adams nearly matched Cox pitch per pitch as he struck out seven in his 6 2/3 innings of work.

“Chandler really battled, he got out of some really tough spots,” Shearer said. “He saw 32 batters and threw 24 or 25 first-pitch strikes. He did a good job of working ahead and throwing his off-speed pitches for strikes.”

The Tomcats’ only run off of Adams came in the third inning, when Cox’s single to right field plated Matt Vincent, who doubled to lead off the frame.

East Carter’s only run also came after a leadoff double. Andrew Sharp scored on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze by Dunn in the fifth inning.

E. CARTER    000    010    00    —    1    7    0

ASHLAND    001    000    01    —    2    8    3

Adams, Floyd (7) and Wells. Cox, Fritz (8) and Fritz, Mullins (8). W – Fritz. L – Floyd. 2B: Vincent (A), Sharp (EC)


Text Only
Local Sports
  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0716softball.jpg KHSAA pushes presence of masks

    Fairview’s Sydney Ekers and Lewis County’s Kelsey Rizzo didn’t wear masks to play softball until after they were struck in the face by line drives.
    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has made a recommendation that it hopes will reduce such instances.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo