Delivers a solo home run, RBI double, then comes in to relief pitch for the A's
securing a 4-3 win over St. Thomas in game three of the SMMFL final
Monday, October 7, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
APPIN, ON. - Throughout games one and two, each time Jeff Lyons reached base, the Appin A's scored. That trend continued in game three against the St. Thomas Storm with one big difference.
Appin held on to win, 4-3, extending the best of five game South Middlesex Men's Fastball League final to a fourth night, in Fingal, Tuesday, at 8 p.m.
Lyons hit a monster two out first inning solo home run and then in the third inning ripped a RBI double off the outfield fence. Lyons received an intentional walk in his third plate appearance.
"I got a few balls in my zone tonight, some pitches that I could drive," said Lyons, who has only been put out once in the series. "You don't want to swing out of you zone. You want to stay in your zone."
The 38- year old also worked his magic from the pitcher's rubber, coming in to relieve A's starter Greg Moore, with the two out in the sixth inning, A's holding a 4-3 lead.
After giving up a single to Josh Tetreau, Lyons struck out Mitch Roy. In the seventh, the Storm moved the tying run, Mark Coleman, to third base, but Lyons struck out two batters and got Jason Dawdy to ground out.
"The boys played really well. The defence was impeccable," Lyons said. "We had a few double plays that were huge and got us out of some big innings. We had a big play at the end. (Dawdy) hit the ball hard and he was right there and got the final out. A good team win."
St. Thomas opened the game scoring twice, in the top of the first inning, combining singles by Roy, Brady Stafford and Chris Wismer and a walk to Coleman.
Lyons got Appin on the board in the home half of the opening stanza.
A Kyle Mitchell solo home run tied the affair in the second inning.
The A's took a 4-3 lead on RBI doubles by Lyons and Jamie Welch. That ended St. Thomas starter Dan Beecroft's outing and brought in Ben Hodgins, who silenced the A's for the rest of the game.
The Storm pulled to within a run, thanks to Tetreau's two-out RBI double in the fourth inning.
"It was a good ball game," St. Thomas manager Tom Edie said. "At this level hitting matters. We had base runners on almost every inning. A hit or two there and it's a different game. The middle of our order didn't produce like we were expecting them too."
Edie knew the A's weren't going to simply allow the red carpet to be put down for the championship trophy on their home diamond.
"Kudos to them. They wanted to defend their turf," said Edie. "We'll come back tomorrow and see what we can do at home."
Moore picked up the win, allowing three runs, on eight hits and three walks and struck out four batters.
"He's been pitching great all year. The guy is just a horse," Lyons said. "I only have to come in for one inning or two innings. He's doing the heavy lifting."
Beecroft's line read four runs, on six hits, striking out three batters. Hodgins struck out seven batters, including the all three batters faced in the fourth inning. He allowed one single and one walk.
Adam Fletcher punched out two lead-off singles for the A's and scored once.
Tetreau delivered a pair of doubles and drew a walk, in three plate appearances. In four plate appearances, Coleman finished with a single and two walks, while Stafford had two walks.
The A's are hoping to repeat what the they did in last year's semifinals against Highgate, rally from down two games to win in five.
"We have to keep playing tight defence," Lyons said. "They're (Storm) a great team over there. From one through nine, all of the guys can hit. Their nine guy tonight, Tetreau, had two hits and a walk."
Game five, if necessary, will be in Appin, on Thursday.
This summer, Lyons helped the Hill United Lumberjacks bring home a bronze medal from Canadians.
"A little disappointing," admits Lyons. "We lost to Newfoundland who ended up winning it. We beat them earlier in the tournament."
Last year, Lyons played for Elmria at the fastball National championship. The Appin native, who teaches at Ekcoe Central public school in Glencoe, is also part of Canada's National men's team 2019 athlete pool.