By Phil Anastasia
Colan Miller pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts as Camden Catholic tightened its grip on the top spot in the Olympic National with a 7-2 victory over Timber Creek on Monday.
Miller, a senior right-hander, allowed just two hits and no runs in the final five innings as Camden Catholic improved its record to 13-7 overall and 8-2 in the Olympic National.
Junior centerfielder Tom Gallagher delivered the big hit for the Irish, a two-run single in the third.
Camden Catholic's other runs scored on an error, two wild pitches, an RBI groundout by Shawn Stone and a sacrifice fly by Christian Bilan.
Timber Creek left-hander Kyle Taylor pitched well, allowing just three hits in six innings. Taylor walked six, and four of those players came around to score.
Timber Creek took a 2-0 lead in the second as Alan Butler walked, Brad Rodier singled and Steve Rodier rapped an RBI single. Another run scored on an infield error.
After a walk, the Chargers had the bases loaded with no outs. But Miller escaped further damage by getting a pair of comebackers to the mound for force outs at home and a pop up.
"That was huge," Camden Catholic coach Bob Bergholtz said.
Miller recorded all six of his strikeouts in the final five innings. He retired 12 of 14 in one stretch.
"He's a bulldog," Bergholtz said of Miller. "He gets better as the game goes along."
Timber Creek coach Dave Clune praised Miller's work on the mound.
"He's always around the plate," Clune said. "He's got a great breaking ball. He can make you look bad."
Miller said the Irish, who will play in the Diamond Classic this weekend as the Olympic National representative, draw some motivation from a perceived lack of respect.
"We've been overlooked all year," Miller said. "For us to be leading the division this late in the season, it feels good."
Camden Catholic 003 002 2 -- 7 4 3
Timber Creek 020 000 0 -- 2 4 1
WP: Colan Miller. LP: Kyle Taylor.
2B: TC-Steve Rodier.