When Ashland's Logan Salow told me that he threw two perfect games in Little League, I went to the gardening rack and did some digging.
It didn't take me long to navigate our website to find proof of his prior perfection.
The breakdown of his 2007 perfect game that he orchestrated as an Ashland National Little League All-Star were eerily similar to that of the varsity high school brand that he concocted on Saturday in Prestonsburg.
For those of you who haven't heard yet, Salow spun a perfect game against Lawrence County in a 2-0 Tomcats win over the weekend.
Let's compare the 2007 12-year-old Logan Salow's numbers to the 2013 18-year-old Logan Salow's numbers:
‰2007 (six innings) — 81 pitches, 15 strikeouts; two of the three putouts were grounders back to the mound.
‰2013 (seven innings) — 79 pitches, 18 strikeouts; two of the three putouts were dribblers between the catcher and the pitcher.
Even the voice-cracking version of Salow was strikeout-stacking.
But, you know, Saturday's performance was probably the most impressive for a few reasons.
First of all, look at the opponent. Lawrence County is always one of the most disciplined-hitting teams in the area, and this year's no different. In fact, the Bulldogs hadn't even been shut out until Saturday.
Secondly, it took the southpaw just 79 pitches. That's 3.8 pitches per batter.
Also, when Salow strolled up to the mound six years ago, he had not a care in the world. He was just a kid who loved baseball.
This season, his mind is on making his final stamp as a Tomcat both in receiving a diploma and perhaps revisiting a baseball region championship run. Plus, there's that Big Blue bull's eye he's worn on his back since committing to be a preferred walk-on at the University of Kentucky.
Then again, maybe he's still just a kid who loves baseball when cleat hits rubber.
Just as in 2007, when his coach (Charlie Parks) couldn't recollect witnessing a perfect game in Little League All-Stars, Ashland coach Jeff Wilcox struggled to remember the last time a Tomcats pitcher produced perfection.
There might have been one or two since, but one that I found the most well-documented was Don Gullett's 20-strikeout perfect game when he was at McKell High School in the late 1960s.
Since the KHSAA started keeping records of perfect games, no one in the 16th Region had thrown one.
‰Our coverage of Lewis County's 5-2 win over Boyd County this past week included the possibility of it being the first win for the blue-clad Lions over the Lions in red. Thanks to an emailer, we were informed that Lewis County last defeated Boyd County in 2001. Auspiciously enough for Boyd County, the red-dressed Lions won a state title that year.
‰Ashland's got some girl power, too. Megan Hensley tossed her fourth no-hitter of the season as she shut down Harrison County on Saturday. She walked just two batters in five innings.
‰With five home runs on Saturday, including two apiece by Sydney Cullop and McKenzie Vanover, the Kittens now stand tall with 29 home runs in 27 games played. If the power surge continues, Ashland could be looking at a KHSAA record. The mark is currently 31, held by both Garrard County of 2009 and Christian County of 2007.
‰Rowan County baseball has won 11 of its last 14 games. Standouts among the top contributors include Harold Chapman (.408 avg.), Justin Graham (.406, 22 RBIs) and Cameron Planck. Planck is a freshman who throws in the mid-80s (mph). He has a 0.87 earned run average in 48.2 innings pitched.
‰Top-notch softball teams typically have a clear-cut ace who has the ability to be dominant. Boyd County has succeeded differently. While all three of their top starters (Lora Thompson, Hannah Irvine and Alex Meade) are dependable, neither has been relied upon as the definite No. 1. That can be a luxury, especially if Thompson can keep pitching like she has in her last two outings when called upon. The combined stats in those appearances are the following: 14 innings, 13 strikeouts, six hits given up and one run allowed.
‰Greenup County and Boyd County both braved the talent-packed Fayette County Invitational Tournament field this past weekend. Regardless of the results, this experience can only bode well for the Lions and Musketeers.
‰Do the Red Devils have another surprising postseason run in them? Russell, which always seems to be able to hit with the best of them, has two good pre-tests coming up this week in Boyd County (today) and Ashland (Tuesday). Remember, the Red Devils nearly knocked off the Lions in the 2011 region tournament and the Tomcats in the 2012 tourney before both went on to nab titles.
‰Last week, sports writer Kyle Hobstetter gave you his dark horses for Player of the Year. What about team-wise? Who really has a chance to shock us all and win this thing? I'll give you two in each sport.
In baseball, my dark horses are Russell and Bath County. As I said, the Red Devils can rake, and Joel Mullen is a quality senior at the top of the rotation. Cable Wright, for Bath County, is a Morehead State-bound lefty pitcher who hits better than .500.
In softball, sleepers are 63rd District rivals Greenup County and Raceland. Now, the thing is, the Lady Musketeers and Lady Rams square off in the first round of the district tournament, so only one can break into the region pack. Bre Grubb has been a well-known name for a few years, but up-and-comer Savannah Mackie (.362, 10 doubles, 35 runs) could be a key reason why Raceland has a shot to make some noise. Greenup County is coming off an encouraging defeat of Boyd County.
‰Speaking of the postseason, Raceland softball coach Shawn Johnson brought an interesting suggestion to my attention this week, as he has before. He's a proponent of seeding the entire region, rather than the district, as the top eight teams (determined by coaches) would host first-round tournament games in that format. In that case, the 63rd District probably would have three of the top eight teams in the region in both baseball and softball. Who knows who will emerge from the battle royale that is Greenup County, Lewis County, Raceland and Russell?
Snyder’s Super Seven
1. Greenup County (18-11)
2. Ashland (19-8)
3. Boyd County (17-14)
4. Lewis County (25-8)
5. East Carter (14-15)
6. Bath County (17-7)
7. Russell (15-12)
1. Ashland (19-8)
2. Boyd County (20-10)
3. Greenup County (16-14)
4. Russell (11-13)
5. Rowan County (20-11)
6. Raceland (16-12)
7. East Carter (19-11)
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at DindependentQB or (606) 326-2664