Heather is clutch for Timon in 3-2 win over Nichols
But, they made it count.
Steve Heather’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning was just enough as Timon defeated Nichols, 3-2, in Monsignor Martin Athletic Association baseball action.
“We had small ball all day,” stated Timon coach Jim Palano. “We had one clutch hit all day. Heather had a clutch hit.”
It was a pitchers duel from the outset as Nichols’ Thomas Noonan and Timon’s Billy O’Neil were firing up zeros.
Timon struck first in the bottom of the first inning as Zach Hayes reached on an error and made it to second after the pickoff throw from Noonan got away from the first baseman.
From there Heather bunted him over to third before Hayes scored on a ground out one batter later.
The way O’Neil was pitching early you thought the one run was all the Tigers would need.
Nichols, however, was able to get to O’Neil in the fourth as they scored twice – first with an RBI triple by Andrew Poturalski and then again on a sacrifice fly.
“He has to pitch down,” said Palano. “He is a good competitor. He made good pitches when he had to.”
The Tigers would tie the game in the bottom of the inning when Quinn Danahy scored on a pass ball.
The Tigers would take the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth thanks in large part to the top of the order.
Hayes led off the inning with a walk and then stole second before Heather took the pitch from Noonan and shot the ball the other way. The ball find found the hole between the first and second baseman and Hayes was able to beat the throw to the plate.
From there, O’Neil was able to wiggle out of a seventh inning jam, thanks in large part to Hayes behind the plate.
With runners on first and third and one out, Hayes gunned down Noonan who was trying to steal second. From there, O’Neil was able to get the next batter to pop up to the first baseman to end the game.
Hayes and the rest of the Timon defense helped out O’Neil – who had issues with his command at times.
“He battled and he made some good pitches when he had to,” stated Palano. More importantly we played some good defense. Our bats didn’t help him out too much – maybe the weather had something to do with it. And there pitcher was good today.”
Next up for the Tigers is game two with Nichols on Monday. Game time at Nichols is for 4:15 p.m.
O’Neil earned the win going seven innings allowing three hits with five strikeouts.