PLAYING for a team whose motto is “win every moment,” Jackson County pitcher Kolin Zimmer owned the moment Wednesday night by throwing a no-hitter against Class AAAA Clarke Central.
The Panther senior faced just 25 batters over the course of his seven-inning gem, walking four and striking out six as Jackson County (4-2) won 1-0.
“We couldn't get anything going offensively, and Kolin put us on his back and got the job done,” Jackson County coach Tommy Fountain said.
This is the first no-hitter in Fountain’s five years at Jackson County and the first in at least 25 years at the school.
It was clearly a night dominated by pitching as Zimmer outdueled Clarke Central starter Patrick Matthews, who threw seven innings, allowing the one run, three hits and three walks while striking out six.
“The Matthews kid for Clarke Central was lights out,” Fountain said. “We never could get comfortable against him.”
Jackson County managed its only run when Quinn Grogan scored on a double steal in the second inning. Grogan (1-for-2), Zimmer (1-for-3) and Andy Williams (1-for-2) provided Jackson County’s three hits.
Fountain, however, said the fourth inning was the pivotal moment.
Jackson County squandered a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the top half of the inning, which gave Clarke Central all the momentum.
“I looked at Kolin as he walked out of the dugout and said, ‘We need a quick inning out of you,’” Fountain said. “’Get the momentum back.’"
Zimmer did exactly that, responding with a 10-pitch inning in the bottom of the fourth with two strikeouts.
“If they manage to get a hit or a couple of base runners right there, the entire game could have changed,” Fountain said. “That's the point that I started to believe Kolin might be able to pull the no-hitter off.”
The Panthers have now won four-straight since starting the season with a pair of losses to Alabama powerhouse Beauregard. They return to action March 14 at home against Elbert County at 5:55 p.m. in the first game of a home-and-away series with the Blue Devils. Jackson County travels to Elbert County March 16.