Devin McGuinness saw an opening out of the corner of his eye while taking a leadoff from second base. He kicked himself for not using it to his advantage.
Three innings later, he got another chance. And this time, he was ready.
McGuinness stole third base and advanced home on an errant throw in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Heat a 3-2 victory against the Beaufort Ospreys in an American Legion baseball game Friday night at Hilton Head High.
The Heat (8-4) won their fourth one-run game of the season and improved to 5-3 in League 1 play.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
"I'd been trying to steal third all night, but I couldn't make it work," McGuinness said. "(In the ninth), I finally got a good jump, so I decided to go ahead and swipe it. We got lucky on the throw, so I took home."
The little things loomed large in a game dominated by pitching.
The Heat's pitching staff stayed hot, while Beaufort's bats remained ice cold. Matt Brown gave the Heat seven innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and allowing just three hits in a 91-pitch outing, but he was left with a no-decision when Beaufort tied the game in the top of the ninth.
Mitchell Stewart tagged Brown for the lone run with a bloop RBI single in the fifth inning -- a hit that drew a sarcastic eruption from the Ospreys' bench, as it broke a 23-inning scoreless drought that spanned parts of four games.
"I told him before the game to give us a Matt Brown-esque game, and that's exactly what he did," Heat coach Chris Wells said. "He pitched well. He didn't let one bad at-bat faze him. He was in control."
The Ospreys took advantage of his absence in the ninth and tied the game with two outs when pinch-runner McCauley Smith scored on Nic Levy's wild pitch. Levy (2-0) bounced back to retire the only two batters he faced, and the Heat made him a winner when McGuinness touched home plate in the bottom half of the inning.
Joel Fickes (1-2) suffered the loss despite becoming the second consecutive Ospreys pitcher to throw into the ninth inning. Junior Delatorre threw 10 innings in a 2-0, 11-inning loss to Goose Creek on Thursday night, and Fickes took a complete-game defeat on Friday.
The Ospreys (1-5) have lost a pair of one-run games to the Heat, and twice they have lost other games in which they've been tied in the ninth inning.
"If we had about four more timely hits this season, we could be 5-1 instead of 1-5," Ospreys coach Bryan Thompson said. "We're close."
Lowcountry Heat 3, Beaufort Ospreys 2
Ospreys 000 010 001 -- 2 5 3
Heat 100 010 001 -- 3 6 2
WP: Nic Levy (2-0) 2-3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K.
LP: Joel Fickes (1-2) 8 1-3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K.
Hitters: Ospreys -- David Tilton 2 for 4; Heat -- Devin McGuinness 2 for 3, run.