We had to travel an hour and fifteen minutes for this game. The bus left at 4:00 for the 5:55 game. I rode with some other parents and we left at 4:30. When we finally got to the other team’s school, we paid and walked in to see the last little bit of warmups. I did not see our team anywhere. The opponents coach was shooting some water on homeplate so I walked out to ask where our team was. He said he just had a call that they were lost, but were following someone with a GPS now. I started getting anxious. Would they have enough time to warmup. My son had just missed 3 months at the end of last summer with shoulder problems. He was fine now, but the lack of time to get properly stretched and warmed up concerned me. While he does not pitch, he is a catcher and he has to do a lot of throwing over the course of a ballgame.
The team finally arrived about 8 minutes before gametime. I have never seen some of the boys move as fast as they did getting their spikes on and hitting the field to stretch and throw. It’s tough getting off a bus after riding for nearly 2 hours and being expected to play in 10 minutes. The umpires were going to allow us a few extra minutes,but obviously we wouldn’t have time for infield. The boys hurried and got ready as quickly as they could.
It took us a couple of innings to get going. Our pitcher was doing a good job once again. In the third, we finally broke out and put 6 runs on the board. I was happy to see that. The other pitcher was probably the best we had seen in a few games. He had pretty good velocity. I know my son was happy to see it. We added a couple of more runs in the 4th. We were changing pitchers every 2 innings since we have 5 games this week. We needed to keep everybody fresh to make it through. The pitcher that threw the 3rd and 4th for us was making his first appearance at this level. He is a freshman and a very good friend of my sons. I very very pleased with how he threw. This kid had quit playing baseball at 8 to concentrate on soccer. I talked him into trying out for Little League when he was 12 with the promise that I would try to draft him for my team. He turned out to be a very strong player for me that season. I worked hard with him and made him watch several of my baseball instructional videos to get his game back. He ended up making the all star team. I take great pride in seeing some of my old players do well. I have coached almost every one of the players in this program, but this one I take the most pride in. Hopefully he will be one we can count on for the next 3 1/2 years.
We were held scoreless in the top of the 5th. In the bottom, we ran a player that had not pitched at all this year, and not much over the last couple, to the mound. Things did not go well. A few walks, a few hits, and an error and all of the sudden it was an 8-7 ballgame. We had to use another pitcher to come in and get us out of the inning. How would the team react? The coaches have done an outstanding job of motivating the players all season. This is something that was lacking last season. While we are still undefeatedand and for the most part, playing well, the coaches have kept the egos in line and reminded the boys that there have been a few games that could have gone the other way. My son was leading off. He had hit the ball hard all game with a double off the fence in leftcenter and a flyout to the wall in center. He got his pitch and hit a shot to left. Off the bat we all thought it was gone. The only question was did hehit it high enough? It clanged off the top of the fence for a double. Our cleanup hitter then hit his first pitch onto the hill beyond the rightcenterfield fence. It was his first High School homerun. I was pumped. He is a great kid and we are very good friends with his family. I ran out to retrieve the ball for them. We piled on 5 more to take a 15-7 lead.
We were so proud how the boys responded. Last year they probably would have laid down and ended up losing the game. This year things seemed different. We ended up winning 16-7. I couldn’t have been happier. My son was smiling ear to ear after the game. He was more excited talking about how well his friend did in his first appearance and how his other friend hit his first homerun. He wanted to talk about how they rose up when the other team threatened to take the lead. He talked about how they were still undefeated. I was proud of him because he had a really good game offensively as well as behind the plate. No one would have blamed them for starting slowly and not playing well after not having much time to get ready. I think this team might be capable of doing something special this season. There is no baseball instructional video for heart. I wish I could come up with one. Maybe I should have just videotaped there season. That is what they have been showing a lot of. Hopefully they will make it through the week. One down, four to go.