SCOTTSDALE – It might not compare with winning a national championship, but Tim Tebow had his first memorable moment as a professional baseball player.
Tebow hit a walk-off RBI single for the Scottsdale Scorpions Monday night, lifting his team to a 4-3 win over the Mesa Solar Sox at Scottsdale Stadium. The hit, which came against Marlins Triple-A pitcher Drew Steckenrider with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth, capped a 1-for-4 night, while he also drew a walk.
For the Mets minor-leaguer – and former Heisman Trophy winner – it was only his second RBI in 41 at-bats.
“It feels good,” Tebow said of his opposite-field single that hugged the third-base line and stayed fair for the game-winner. “It feels good just to be with these guys and having fun with them and have a come from behind win. We’ve given up a few of these this year so it feels good to get one.
“Those are the situations you love; I mean, that’s fun. A lot of pressure but they’re fun moments.”
Tebow hasn’t exactly lit the league on fire in his first foray into pro baseball, as he was 5-for-40 (.125) with one RBI entering that at-bat.
He spent part of pregame Monday chatting with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who was at the ballpark chatting with some of the Yankees’ prospects playing on Tebow’s team.
“The whole day they had been throwing me outside fastballs and they had the shift on a little bit, and Mr. Jackson was just talking about letting it get deep and going with it,” Tebow said. “So first pitch tried to let it get deep and hit it opposite way, especially when they play you for a pull.”
“Especially in this game, it’s never as good as it seems, it’s never as bad as it seems; it’s always somewhere in the middle,” Tebow said. “So I think it’s always about keeping perspective, even knowing that it’s a process but moments like this are definitely fun, they’re definitely special.”
Tebow believes he’s “gotten a lot better” while playing in the Arizona Fall League, both offensively and defensively.
“I think I’m seeing the ball a lot better,” Tebow said. “I feel like I’m making pretty good contact and just all the things that we’re working on. I feel like I’m slowly getting there.”
Although he’s played in games with far higher stakes than a fall league game with 1,012 fans in attendance, the 29-year-old seemed quite pleased with his big hit and the 4-3 victory.
“It feels good for your teammates, the work that you put in,” Tebow said. “Any time you’re in a game and they’re keeping score, you want to be competitive and you want to win. I think this was a fun moment for all of us.”
Despite his relative inexperience at baseball, Tebow believes that his history of playing in big-time college football games helped him keep calm in that final at-bat.
“Your body doesn’t know the difference of stress and pressure, what it is,” Tebow said. “You just have to handle what it is. If it’s getting up and speaking in front of 20,000, if it’s playing football in front of 100,000 or if it’s bases loaded, two out and the bottom of the ninth; your body just knows it’s stress, it’s pressure and how are you going to handle that mentally? All the games, the ups and the downs, all of it help prepare you for pressure-packed, stressful moments in my opinion. And for even more importantly, for life’s pressure-packed moments.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News