A team focusing up when it matters the most is crucial in all sports, and a majority of the time that team wins the game. That turned out to be the case yet again Monday afternoon.
A solid outing for Timon pitcher Kiernan Higgins combined with the bats catching fire helped secure a 10-3 home field Tiger win over Cardinal O’Hara at Cazenovia Park.
Despite the Hawks jumping out to an early 1-0 second inning lead off the back of a Chase Moreland RBI groundout, the Tigers would flip the game on its heels come the third.
“I think its confidence, its in our heads in the beginning where a couple hard hit balls don’t drop and you start thinking a bit too much,” said Timon head coach Jeff Ralabate. “Once we got a few to drop I think the boys settled in and started taking better swings.”
More than a few dropped for Timon, as the Tigers swiftly took a 5-1 lead in the third with the help of a Chris Fisher 2-RBI double and Tyler Brill 2-RBI triple. Brill finished 3-for-3 at the dish, including two RBIs and two runs.
On the defensive side, the Tigers played well in the field, and it all started with Higgins on the mound.
“He threw the ball well,” said Ralabate. “He had some trouble with location in the beginning but once he settles in he’s good. He got into a groove after the first couple innings and pitched very well.”
Higgins pitched himself into trouble in the first and third innings, as the Hawks had the bases loaded with two and one outs respectively, but the Timon starter went on to strike out the rest of the sides and get out of both jams unscathed. Higgins finished with an impressive stat line of 5 innings pitched, eight strikeouts, one earned run and two walks.
“I just had to find my groove and find the strikezone,” said Higgins. “I trust the guys out in the field that if I let them hit it that they’ll make the plays for me.”
Javier Morales tacked onto the growing Timon lead in the fifth with an RBI single, and an O’Hara error led to another two runs scoring, and put the Tigers up 10-1.
The Hawks would add a couple in the seventh, as Aiden O’Lay rocketed an RBI double to left field and a Kevin Wojcinski groundout later brought O’Lay home.
“We have the talent, it’s all about unity now,” said O’Hara head coach Henry Caso. “We faced some adversity early in the game and lost things mentally for two or three innings, then at the end of the game, everyone heated back up. We have to maintain that fire throughout the entire game.”