Del Oro's Heyer one-hits Woodcreek 3-0

Scoring change negates what would have been his second no-hitter this season
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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LOOMIS — It initially was ruled an error; upon further review, it was a hit — the only hit Keith Heyer allowed against a hard-hitting Woodcreek lineup Saturday.

The Del Oro High School senior right-hander has been hard to touch this season, and he came up with another big performance in a 3-0 Sierra Foothill League victory that salvaged game three of the Golden Eagles’ series with the Timberwolves.

“That’s our secret to success,” coach Jeff Dietrich said of Heyer, who improved to 3-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.56 with his third complete game and third shutout.

The 6-foot, 195-pounder walked one and struck out seven. After pitching a 1-2-3 seventh, Heyer and his teammates celebrated what they thought was his second no-hitter this season — he no-no’d Colfax on Feb. 28 — but Austin Blatnick’s tough chopper that couldn’t be gloved on a short-hop later was changed from an error to a hit.

“He has a filthy cutter and a great curve. He throws backward and locates well,” Dietrich said of Heyer, who has allowed 12 hits and has 36 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. “When he’s rolling, it’s good.”

Of course, Heyer had help. Junior second baseman Therin Heryford made a backhand stab of a grounder in the third, and sophomore catcher Bryce Beauchamp threw out a runner trying to steal second.

“There were a lot of good plays behind me,” Heyer said with a smile. “It’s pretty awesome.”

Dietrich opted to save his ace for Saturday instead of matching him against Woodcreek star Stephen Nogosek in game one last Tuesday. Nogosek pitched a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts in the opener, and Tyler Milani tossed a three-hitter for the Timberwolves on Thursday.

“We were hoping to steal one, to be honest,” Dietrich said.

And steal one Del Oro (5-9 overall, 1-2 SFL) did. The Golden Eagles took a 1-0 lead on a two-out error in the bottom of the fourth and made it 3-0 in the fifth on Trevor Sloss’ hit and another error.

Coach Eric Valencia said his Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-champion Timberwolves (11-3, 2-1) taking two of three to open the SFL campaign was “positive.”

“Gotta get two out of three,” he said. “(Heyer) was hot on the mound. That’s the game. It’s baseball.”

Contact Bill Poindexter at Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.