BRENTWOOD — Tayler Montiel doesn’t have a ton of bad days. At least not on the baseball field.
But the Brentwood Academy left-handed pitcher, who’s signed with Mississippi State, had to refocus after his Monday start came unwound and resulted in an 8-0 loss to Father Ryan.
“The best thing about baseball is you get to play the very next day if you have a bad game,” Montiel said. “We just went to bed, came back out, flushed it and knew we had to get a win.”
Montiel was willing to do anything to tie the series Tuesday, even if it meant tapping a sacrifice bunt that resulted in a first-base collision after a bad throw. Montiel stayed in and scored moments later to widen the lead in the fifth inning of the Eagles’ 11-5 victory.
“Bunting, running, putting pressure on the other team … We did that today and got 11 runs,” Montiel said.
Brentwood Academy’s other big output was a two-out, three-run rally in the third inning sparked by Cooper Derryberry’s two-run triple. Joseph Battaglia, who earned the pitching win, singled in another run. Derryberry and Battaglia later drove in runs in the sixth after the Irish got within two runs.
Brentwood Academy goes to Father Ryan for the decisive series finale Wednesday.
These are the moments Montiel savors as he prepares for college.
He knows there will be rough days there too.
The Southeastern Conference had six teams ranked in Baseball America’s top 10 this week, with Mississippi State at No. 5.
“And it’s tough in (Brentwood Academy’s) league too,” Montiel said. “I’ve been in it as a freshman. Sometimes you get killed and you have to come back and win.”
Montiel’s fastball topped out at 92 mph earlier this season against Friendship Christian, he said. The Brentwood Academy quarterback focused on weight gain during his first offseason dedicated solely to baseball. He’s up to 6 feet, 2 inches and 198 pounds.
He was able to differentiate his curveball and slider in that time and now has a four-pitch mix. That shows why Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Duke were all interested in his services. But he committed to MSU as a sophomore and never wavered.
“Monday (against Father Ryan) doesn’t bother me. I thought he threw well. There were five singles and an error, and it was a big error,” Brentwood Academy coach Chandler Ganick said. “He came out and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ I said there’s nothing to be sorry about. You’ll get the ball next week again and I expect results. Because guys like him are competitors. I don’t have to do too much to him.”
Brentwood Academy hasn’t been back to the Division II state tournament since its 2017 state championship. The Eagles (5-4) are 1-1 in the Division II-AA Middle Region.
A lot is still expected of Montiel. In addition to his arm, he hit .625 through the first three games.
Good days or bad, he’s cherishing his final days on Granny White Pike.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s just like football, even though I’m not doing that at the next level,” Montiel said. “It’s just a lot of fun to be out here with the guys.”