San Dimas High School pitcher Peter Lambert threw a one-hitter to beat Pomona 10-0 in a mercy shortened six-inning game to close out the Valle Vista League on Thursday — but the lone hit is worth a lifetime of memories for Red Devils senior Tim Collins.
Collins is a mentally challenged special needs student who has been on varsity for the past two season’s. Thursday’s hit was the only hit of his high school career.
“Tim is on our team but he’s only had four or five at bats this season,” Pomona coach Jason Albaugh said. “San Dimas asked us before the game if they could do something nice for him. It was an incredible gesture, because their kid (Lambert) could have thrown a no-hitter, but they did this and it meant everything to (Collins).”
When Collins came up in the third inning, Lambert tried throwing pitches he could hit.
“He (Collins) loves to swing the bat, he just started taking his cuts,” Albaugh said.
Collins fouled off a few pitches and hit a pop fly toward first that Saints first baseman Logan Murratalla let drop in front of him.
“He (Murratalla) could have gotten it,” San Dimas coach Mike Regan said. “But we wanted to see him keep swinging.”
Finally, Collins hit a blooper to left that dropped in front of outfielder Josh Corona for a base hit, and you couldn’t wipe the grin from Collins’ face.
“I give our kids all the credit for it,” Regan said. “They came up with the idea and it was a special thing to do. The game didn’t mean anything, we already had wrapped up league. So for our guys to want to do something special for him, I thought it was great.”
And so did Albaugh.
“San Dimas is just a class act for doing it,” he said. “We went 0-12 in league. We didn’t win a game. But that right there was the perfect way to end the season. I just wanted to thank San Dimas for what they did. It was special to watch, and I’m sure (Collins) will remember that moment forever.”