A Good One to End on

February 29, 2012
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SMACK! I was in the batter’s box taking batting practice. I was swinging the bat as hard as I could, digging into the dirt with my cleats, and focusing on the ball. “Blazer, are you warm yet?” Coach Q asked me before he threw another ball.
“One more,” I answered. A tree that was about 30ft over the 340ft fence in left caught my eye so I decided to aim for it. When the ball was in midair, I took a tiny step towards the ball with my left foot, I took the best swing of my life that made the ball fly right into the trunk of the tree. That’s a good one to end on, I thought to myself.

I was the lead-off man so I stepped up to the plate in the top of the first inning. I pulled the first pitch right to the third baseman. I hustled down to first base trying to beat the throw. A split-second after the ball hit the pocket of the first baseman’s mitt I stepped on his foot (on purpose) that caused him to drop the ball. The umpire didn’t see that I crunched his toes so he called me safe. Zach was up next and worked the pitcher to a full count before he blistered the ball down the right field line for a triple that scored me from first. We were up 1-0 in the first inning of play.

In the bottom of the second the score was still 1-0. With two outs in the inning I was playing shortstop and there were runners on second and third. On a 2-2 pitch the batter hit a ground ball in the gap between second and third. My athletic ability enabled me to catch up to it in time and make a great throw to first base and to finish the inning without letting up a run.

In the third inning I was up to bat with a runner on second. “Watch how far this one will go,” I told the opposing team’s catcher cockily, he just nodded back with a lets-see-about-that look on his face. Later in that at-bat It was a 1-2 count. The pitcher wound up, the aroma of concession stand popcorn flew in my nostrils, I tightly gripped the bottom of my bat with my bare hands, the crowd cheered as loud as a construction site, the chewing of my bubble gum halted to a stop as I noticed the pitcher release the ball. He threw the fastball that was aimed for my head, and it hit off of my shining red Nike helmet sending me to the ground, my tears wiped off the eye-black that I put on before the game. I was dizzy at first when I stood up but I walked to first like nothing happened. The catcher smiled at me,” Your right it did go far,” he responded sarcastically while laughing.

We ended up scoring one run that inning expanding our lead to 2-0. Later in the fourth inning they scored twice on back-to-back home runs that tied the score 2-2.

It was the top of the 8th and I was up to bat again. The score was still 2-2, 2 outs, and no one on base. “Come on Blazer you got this, hit one outta here!” Mason (our left fielder) yelled from the dugout as I took some practice swings. He’s right, I do have this, I just need to focus, I told myself. I guess that worked because it felt like the same swing as I took in batting practice, the only difference is that it went further, it went over the tree in left! I couldn’t help but smile as I trotted around the bases. The crowd and the dugout wend wild as the point went up on the board. We were back on top, 3-2.

Before the team went out to play defense coach Q called us together,”Alright, we have the lead now but it is not over yet, now,” his voice got louder and faster paced,”Let’s maintain the one run lead and get a ‘W’ out of this game. Defense on three. 1, 2, 3...”

“DEFENSE!” the team roared simultaneously. We held them in the 8th so it was 3-2 in our favor into the bottom of the 9th. There was a runner on first with one out, their second baseman was up. On a 1-1 pitch he hit a high chopper on my side of second base. I fielded the ball cleanly, slid my foot on second, planted my throwing foot, and snapped a strong throw to first base. He stood absolutely no chance, WE WON! I told myself, Now THAT’S a good one to end on.

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