Ashland coach Jeff Wilcox finally caught a glimpse of the pitcher he paid witness to all winter long.
Tomcat senior Robert Griffith froze Fleming County on Friday, hurling a no-hitter in a 2-0 win.
“We’re happy for Robert,” Wilcox said. “He’s a competitor.
“As a coach, it’s a great thing to see going into next week. It was a great shot in the arm for us.”
Ashland has just one more game — the Tomcats are at Prestonsburg today at noon — before battling Fairview in the 64th District Tournament on Monday at Boyd County.
Griffith was the story on Friday.
The right-hander transferred to Ashland from Louisville Butler before this season. Griffith fell ill with mononucleosis during the early portion of the season. He lost 15 or 20 pounds, Wilcox said, while sick.
While he’s turned in several solid outings, he had struggled lately, especially with control. Despite tossing a shutout against Fairland, he walked seven. Then, he didn’t get through the first inning against East Carter last week.
Griffith issued just two free passes on Friday. He struck out seven, including five in a row spanning the first and second frames.
“Tonight, I saw a little zip on his fastball which pleased me,” Wilcox said. “That was really good because I hadn’t really seen the same kid that threw all winter for us.”
Wilcox pointed to a play by third baseman Jared Slone as the play of the game, helping preserve the no-no. The senior hustled to field a slow roller before getting rid of the ball quickly and firing a strike to first base.
Evan Cox and Casey Clark supplied the offensive highlights. Each went 2-for-3. Cox’s RBI double was the only extra-base hit of the night. Aaron Elam drove in the other run with a groundout.
Ashland improved to 19-8. Fleming County fell to 9-20. The Panthers’ regular season is over. They face Bath County in the first round of the 61st District Tournament on Monday in Morehead.
FLEMING CO. 000 000 0 — 0 0 1
ASHLAND 000 200 x — 2 6 0
Fawns, Saunders (5) and Saunders, Stutter (5); Griffith and Fritz. W—Griffith. L—Fawns. 2B—Cox (A).