Timofeevs holding their own in collegiate league

By Mark Griffin
Special to The Press
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Brad Timofeev is currently playing summer baseball for the Ohio Trojans for the third straight year. This is the first year the Trojans are competing in the wood bat Erie Shores Collegiate League.

 There are a number of reasons Timofeev, a former standout at Clay, likes to play summer baseball.

“It’s real laid back and you get your swings in and you get to work on things,” he said. “It clears your mind and it's a chance to better yourself.”

Timofeev has to do something no one else on the Trojans has to do, however: play for his father. Steve Timofeev is the Trojans’ general manager.

Brad, however, said “it's real easy to separate” playing ball for Dad two hours a night and living with Dad the other 22 hours.

“We're on opposite ends of the dugout during the games,” said the younger Timofeev, who also played for the Adrian College junior varsity team last season. “He just creates opportunities for me and he leaves the rest up to me. We talk about the game when we get home. We let each other do our own thing at games and then talk about it at home, just like a father and son would.”

 Steve said he has been impressed by the way his son has dedicated himself to improving his game this summer.

“It is exciting to watch a player like Brad, who knows what he has to do to make it at Adrian,” Steve said. “He is committed his summer to prepare himself for the upcoming year (at Adrian).

“It’s also gratifying to me as his father to see him work hard to achieve his goal. I have never been that father to push my kids into doing something they don’t want to do, but if they choose a goal, sport or career, then it’s my responsibility as a parent to make sure we guild him to that goal.”

Through Tuesday, the Trojans were 13- 14 overall and 8-13 in the ESCL. The team, despite a 2-1 loss to the Ohio Storm on the Heidelberg College field Tuesday night, is in good position to earn a good seed in the upcoming league tournament.

Brad has been a key component to the Trojans’ strong push this season. He started out slowly but has come on strong of late, including a 3-for-3 effort at the plate against Fostoria.

Through 22 games Timofeev was batting .225 with a .313 on-base percentage from his leadoff spot. As a third baseman, he has a .909 fielding percentage with 26 putouts and 24 assists.

“We put Brad in a tough spot this year at leadoff, but his speed and explosion have improved after spring ball,” Steve said. “He has been working out religiously at Synergy (Sports and Fitness Center on Central Avenue). Brad has been patient at the plate and seen a lot of pitches.

 “He knows his job and gets it done. He is a great fielder with good hands. He struggled his first year at college and had some unexpected errors, but he has turned things around this summer and has greatly improved. Brad’s strong suit has always been his defense, and he has been a leader on the field.”

Brad, a 2005 Clay graduate, was an honorable mention All-City League infielder under Eagles coach Karl Knierim. He moved from shortstop to third base following his sophomore year and also played some at second base. He played third base at Adrian College this spring.

“I really liked short at first, but I realized I’m a better third baseman than shortstop,” Brad said. “I'm pretty much comfortable anywhere.”

He wasn’t comfortable at the plate earlier this summer.

“I’m trying to get back on my game,” he said. “I had been screwing around with my mechanics and trying to get everything honed for next spring at Adrian. I’ve never been a power hitter. I’m just a hitter who tries to get singles to get on base. I’m a situational hitter, just trying to do my job situational hitting.

“I started off real slow and now I'm starting to get strong again.”

Brad has also chipped in with a couple of impressive performances on the mound. In 15 innings with the Trojans, he has faced 66 batters and carries a 2.40 earned run average.

“Brad stepped up this year and helped us out in a pinch,” Steve said. “Pitching injures plagued us and we needed to go deeper into the war chest and we pulled up Brad. He’s done a great job pitching for us this year and getting us those league wins that counted.”

Brad said he hadn’t pitched in nearly two years, but he still enjoys taking the mound.

“I like it. It's pretty fun,” he said. “I don't strike a lot of people out, but I get outs.”

Three mornings a week, Brad works out at Synergy, then goes to work doing computer data at Business Voice in Downtown Toledo. At night, it’s baseball with the Trojans.

“I’ve been busy all summer,” Brad said.

In a few weeks he’ll return to Adrian College to continue his major in business administration and marketing. Adrian baseball coach Craig Rainey will soon be eager to see how much the younger Timofeev improved over the summer.

Timofeev said he intends to play baseball “until baseball doesn't let me play anymore.”

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