Call off the dogs. Bring on the Hounds.
The Huntington Hounds 18U team completed a title run in the Phoenix Bat National Championships this past weekend in Cincinnati.
Boyd County graduate Trey Salisbury, who is heading to Eastern Kentucky University, and Ashland product Sam Hunter, set to sign with Marshall University soon, helped the Hounds to a 7-1 mark in the team’s final tournament of the summer.
The Hounds finished 33-11-1 overall. They played in several national tournaments, according to second-year head coach Caleb Stewart, including an impressive showing in Indianapolis recently, where they advanced to the final eight out of 100-plus teams.
The Phoenix Bat National Championships, a wood bat tournament, began last Wednesday. Through three games of pool play, the Hounds were 2-1. Another loss would have placed them in the silver bracket, making it extremely tough to emerge.
Anthony Brunetti (Huntington High) came through with a two-run home run to tie the game in the sixth, and the Hounds ended up beating Ohio Elite, 4-3, to punch a ticket into the gold bracket. Salisbury pitched in relief.
Hunter started against the Indiana Mustangs on Saturday, throwing a complete game as the Hounds won 6-1.
In the semifinal round on Sunday, the Bloomfield Steam clawed back to 11-10 from a three-run deficit but Salisbury managed to close the door on them and open the door to the finals.
The Hounds beat the Kalamazoo Maroons, 6-1, at the University of Cincinnati behind Spring Valley’s Caleb Meade.
“He probably pitched the game of his life,” Stewart said. “It was just strike after strike after strike.”
Morehead State University and University of Kentucky will be largely represented on the Summer Olympics basketball sidelines.
Of 16 total college cheerleaders and cheer instructors who are set to cheer for the men’s basketball semifinals and finals in London, four are from Morehead State and two are from Kentucky.
From MSU are Ronnie Patrick, who is from Huntington, W. Va., Josh McCurdy, David Clemons and Brandon Garvey. From UK are Megan Murdock and Amanda Banahan.
Sponsored by Varsity, the team will be entertaining crowds and TV audiences with choreographed cheers, stunts and tumbling, and a performance during a halftime show.
Cox takes Elks
Evan Cox, an Ashland junior golfer, won the Jr. Division of the PA Elks Tournament of Champions GolfTournament on July 22-24 in Champion, Pa. He represented Ashland Elks Lodge No. 350.
Patrick Taft, an Ashland graduate, also represented Ashland Elks and competed in the Sr. Division.
Kelly Porter, also an Ashland product, participated in the Sr. Division as a representative of Catlettsburg Elks No. 942.
Cox finished with a two-day total of 150, while Taft and Porter placed sixth and seventh, respectively, overall in the tournament.
Post 76 punches
Ashland Post 76 was crowned district champion last week in Shelbyville. The Sixers advanced to the State Tournament, which will be played in Paducah.
They take on Owensboro in the opening round tonight at 8.
Post 76 defeated Oldham County, 7-4, and then Shelbyville, 9-2, in the district tournament.
Alex Thaxton (Fairland, Ohio) tossed a complete nine-inning game against Oldham County, while Timmy Sublett (Paintsville) went 4 for 4 with an RBI.
Logan Salow (Ashland senior) struck out 17 batters in six innings pitched against Shelbyville, while Dylan Delaney closed it out.
Sublett again came up big, with two hits and two RBIs.
The state champion will advance to regionals in North Carolina next week.
Shining in showcase
A group of Kentucky high school baseball players, consisting of two 16th Region players and guided by a couple area coaches, went 4-1 in the Midwest Classic Baseball Tournament on July 27-29 in Joliet, Ill.
Kentucky, which included Seth Boyle (Greenup County) and Harold Chapman (Rowan County), competed against teams from New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois.
Gavin Ramsey and Jeff Robbins, both of Boyd County, helped coach the team, while former Boyd County coach Jody Hamilton (now at West Jessamine) did as well.
The event is annually attended by more than 100 college and professional scouts, according to Ramsey, and each state’s team is hand-picked by scouts.
Prepping it up
Jay and Dustin Downs, both of Ashland, have launched a website through iHigh (http://www.ihigh.com/prepzone/) where viewers can watch high school sporting events live.
Known as The PrepZone, the production will consist of Dustin covering the central Kentucky area while Jay is set to carry the 16th Region. They will broadcast high-definition video.
AIT’s new sponsor
Home Federal will sponsor the annual Ashland Invitational Tournament in December.
Dicky Martin, longtime play-by-play broadcaster for Ashland sports, will be honored with the Distinguished Tomcat Award during the basketball tournament this season.
The Ironton High School Sports Festival is set for Aug. 16-18.
On Thursday the 16th, Meet the Tigers will take place on the high school front lawn at 6:30 p.m.
A golf tournament is slated for Friday morning at 9 at Ironton Country Club, where the cost is $200 per foursome.
Ironton football will scrimmage Coal Grove on Friday night at 7 at Coal Grove High School.
On Saturday, “Family Fun Day” will feature a 5K run/walk, a craft show, inflatables, zumba, dessert auction, Ironton Youth League Football introductions and a Hall of Fame Dinner.
Visit tigertown.com for more information, including contact information regarding each event.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.
Call off the dogs. Bring on the Hounds.
- Local Sports
MARK MAYNARD: Reality check
Reality television is all the rage. From the “Bachelorette” to “The Voice,” we seem to be slammed — and evenly mildly entertained — by it at every turn.
But here’s a dose of local reality: An alumni football game between Ashland and Boyd County.
Kidwell 'shocked' by HOF honor
Gary Kidwell, who has been involved with high school sports for nearly half a century, will be inducted into the National Coaches Association Hall of Fame next week in Des Moines, Iowa.
Stewart picked to play against Tennessee stars
Emily Stewart’s strong showing in the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association’s East-West All-Star Games last weekend earned her an invitation to another All-Star series.
MARK MAYNARD: Cumpton family takes in big-league moment
Jolene Cumpton was supposed to surprise her son last Saturday.
She was going to make a four-hour drive from Augusta, Ga., to Durham, N.C., to watch him pitch in a Triple-A baseball game between Indianapolis and Durham.
Turns out, the surprise was on her.
KYLE HOBSTETTER: The Bengals on 'Hard Knocks' could be a lot of fun
Gone are the antics of Chad Johnson. Or is it still Ocho Cinco?
Injury-stricken quarterback Carson Palmer took his ball and went to California. Then was shoved to Arizona.
Walsh big winner with Carter, Fletcher
Zac Carter and Trey Fletcher established themselves as one of the premier one-two combinations in Ironton High basketball history.
A PERFECT ENDING
With her career coming to an end, everything has come full circle for Boyd County’s Emily Stewart.
Stewart and Ashland’s McKenzie Vanover were honored as the top players on The Independent’s 2013 All-Area Softball Team.
ALL-AREA BASEBALL: Salow, Prater are back-to-back Jacks
This season’s Player of the Year assumed a starring role in ending the seasons of both coaches who shared top honors on The Independent’s 2013 All-Area Baseball Team.
Ditty stands tall in state Hall of Fame
Julie Ditty never felt as small as when standing beside Pervis Ellison, the 6-foot-9 former University of Louisville basketball great.
'Blessed' Marsh gets due
The second-largest crowd in Elks Sports Day history came to celebrate Vic Marsh Saturday night.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- MARK MAYNARD: Reality check