It felt great. I was kind of worried that he (centerfielder) was going to dive and get it, but good thing he didn’t. —Timpanogos' Tyler Thomas on walk-off single
OREM — With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the game tied with runners on first and second, Tyler Thomas was called upon to hit with the game on the line.
The high-pressure at-bat was Thomas’ first of the game, and pinch-hitting him paid off well for Timpanogos head coach Kim Nelson.
Thomas cracked a walk-off single into centerfield to score Carter Wilde and give Timpanogos an exciting 6-5 win over Skyridge in a Region 8 battle.
“Coming into the bottom of the seventh, you’ve got two outs and nobody on, and you still come through with a game winner. For Tyler Thomas, that’d be his first at-bat for the day. There’s just a lot of good things,” Nelson said.
Thomas’s approach as he walked to the plate?
“I was just thinking, ‘Stay calm, get a good pitch to hit, don’t swing at anything outside the zone just get a fastball that I could drive, and hopefully it lands somewhere,’” Thomas said.
It landed, and Thomas was mobbed by his teammates at first base.
“It felt great. I was kind of worried that he (centerfielder) was going to dive and get it, but good thing he didn’t,” Thomas said.
“I know he has capabilities. He’s kind of been in and out of the lineup a little bit, it wasn’t like we were just sending up somebody up there with very little experience. He’s had 25-30 varsity at-bats this year, so I felt he had a chance, and he did. He did a good job,” Nelson said of Thomas.
It was a complete team effort from Timpanogos in the win, with RBIs coming from Tennyson Pay, Spencer Olsen, Davis Kirby and Thomas.
“That’s how we’re going to win and that’s how we’re going to beat a really good team like Skyridge, just a bunch of guys who all contribute,” Nelson said.
After Skyridge took a 3-1 lead on a wild pitch, the Timberwolves rallied in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs on an RBI double by Olsen and a wild pitch. Timpanogos would score two more in the fourth inning on a bases-clearing triple from Kirby.
The Falcons would fight, scoring a run in the fifth and sixth innings, on an RBI double from Nate Upham and an RBI knock from Colby Peck to tie the game.
With two outs, Timpanogos got two men on base. Thomas came to the plate, and the rest was history.
Derik Eaquinto went five innings as the starter for the Timberwolves, allowing three earned runs, while Wilde finished the last two innings, allowing one earned run.
“There were many things in the game to be really proud of. Derik Eaquinto had only thrown four innings all year, nursing an elbow, and I thought he gave a real gutsy performance of five innings that we needed. That kind of helped get it started, but there were many other guys that had a role into the game,” Nelson said.