It had been eight days since Chris Ashton last pitched when the Phoenix Brophy Prep left-hander took the mound against Scottsdale Chaparral on Friday, with Brophy’s spring break partly responsible for the hiatus between games.
And while the extra few days of rest might have thrown some pitchers off their routine, they couldn’t have come at a better time for Ashton, who looked as strong as ever in shutting out Chaparral over seven innings as visiting Brophy rolled to a 7-0 victory in a Division I, Section III matchup.
Ashton allowed one hit and struck out six, easily dispatching Chaparral for his third victory of the season.
“The break was actually really nice,” Ashton said. “I got to rest my body up, especially my arm. I was kind of sore, so I just took it easy and did some running. I came in here today and tried to do everything I could, and it worked out.”
Chaparral (15-9-1) got just one runner into scoring position against Ashton and none past second base. The senior walked two and hit one, throwing 87 pitches in going the distance.
“He’s been our No. 1 pitcher all season long, and he made a couple nice adjustments during the course of the game,” Brophy coach Tom Succow said. “He came out and walked a guy (in the third inning), and he was up a little bit with his fastball, but he made the adjustment on his release point. He did a great job.”
Brophy (15-6) provided plenty of offensive cushion for Ashton, getting on the board early with a two-run homer from senior first baseman Adrian Zubia in the top of the first inning.
Zubia added a two-run double in the third to finish with four RBIs, and third baseman Chad McClanahan came up a triple shy of the cycle, cranking a solo shot in the fifth inning.
“We’ve been swinging it a lot better than we were earlier in the season,” Succow said.
Brophy had eight hits total, winning its fifth consecutive game after dropping the previous three.
Photos: Arizona high school baseball players to watch – 2015