Bensalem's offense sputtered on a brisk Tuesday afternoon, but the right arm of Zach Hizer kept the Owls afloat en route to a 5-1 win at Council Rock South in a Suburban One League National Conference baseball game.
The Owls (9-1 overall, 6-1 league) recorded just one hit, but it came during their four-run second inning. Bensalem failed even to get another runner on base until the seventh inning. But thanks to Hizer, and some fancy glove work, that was enough.
"That's the way we've been all year," Bensalem coach Rick Lee said. "These kids believe in each other, and they pick each other up. They really enjoy one another."
Hizer posted the complete-game win and had the Owls' lone hit, a two-run single in the second. He struck out four and walked one, and his only run allowed was unearned in the bottom of the fifth.
In the second, Rob Diamond worked a leadoff walk and Zach Schwartz reached on a fielder's choice. The two then pulled off a double steal before Eric Ruud lined out to the pitcher.
Andy Moser followed by reaching on a fielder's choice as Golden Hawks pitcher Bret DeStefano recovered the soft hit and double-clutched to third before holding the ball.
After Ryan Smith grounded to the pitcher for an out at home, Matt Smith plated the game's first run with a two-out, RBI walk. Hizer followed with his sharp single to right field, and then Matt Smith stole home after South (9-1, 6-1) tried to pick Hizer off first.
"That's the only way we survive," Lee said. "We have to create things. We have to make our own breaks. We're not fortunate enough to sit back and say we have a kid in our lineup that can hit the ball 400 feet for a three-run homer."
DeStefano picked up the loss, but struck out four, walked three and yielded the one hit.
In the bottom of the second, Anthony Micalizzi quickly got back on his feet and put back the cap that had flown off in the wind. He had just crashed into a fence in pursuit of a foul ball.
A pitch after his unsuccessful attempt, he again was on the run, or as he put it: "Just ran to the spot and caught it."
With his back toward home plate, the leftfielder sprinted on a sharp angle toward center field. Micalizzi extended his glove into the air as his head slightly turned to find the ball, which he snagged to end the inning.
"I was just hoping I would make the play," Micalizzi said. "It was an awesome win. I have to give credit to everyone."
An inning later, centerfielder Matt Smith added a catch of his own as he fully stretched for a headfirst dive near the rim of the infield.
Along with the outfielders, Hizer also was aided by the solid play of the left side of the infield: third baseman Eric Ruud and shortstop Ryan Smith.
Bensalem 0400001 - 511
Council Rock South 0000100 - 173
WP: Zach Hizer. LP: Bret DeStefano. 2B: C-Brian Donnelly.