It was the championship game at Williamsport, PA. The little league world series was the event. Every baseball players dream. I was starting shortstop and batting clean up for my team from Stuart, FL, who was up against team Canada; it was bound to be a great game. We had first ups; our first two batters singled. Then our third batter laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, giving us runners at second and third with one out. I step up to the plate with a great chance to give our team the lead. I step in the batters box, grip my bat and get ready for the first pitch. I swing, but miss completely. I glare at the pitcher; the next three pitches I take inside for balls. The count is now 3-1 and I know he will give me something to hit on the next pitch. I was right but still miss. With a full count; I exit the batters box to get in a few more practice swings in. The pitch comes, it looks outside, I slide the bat over by the bench and start jogging to first, but the ump calls strike three. I slowly but angrily walk to the bench. The next few innings blew by with little action. The next thing I knew I was up again. The first pitch was on the outside corner, I held up but it was still called a strike. The next pitch was a slow slider that I was ahead of - putting me behind 0-2. Now I was really angry. He threw the next pitch down the middle of the plate, it was 74 mph and I had no chance strike three. I walk to the bench with my head down. Two at bats; two strike outs. Now they’re up in the bottom of the third with a runner on first with one out. The batter hits a ground ball to me. I step on second and fire it to first for a double play. That makes me fell a lot better. Top of the fifth now - I’m up again, and the pitcher throws three straight fast balls. I swing at none but all of them are called strikes, my third strike out of the game. After six innings the score was still tied at zero. “We are going to extras” the ump yells. I lead off to start the seventh. I once again swing at all three pitches making contact with none. I throw my bat on the ground, then my helmet and stomp furiously to the bench. It remains tied through the seventh and eight inning. Now in the top of the ninth the bases are loaded with two outs, and it just happens to be my turn to bat. I tell my coach I know I’ve struck out four times already but to have faith in me. He hands me my bat, I give him a nod, grab my helmet and walk onto the field. They now have the best pitcher in the tournament closing the game. He stands on the mound laughing at me. I take my stance and stare at him. He throws an amazing curve ball for strike one. My coach tells me to swing away on the next pitch. A fastball is rocketed down the middle of the plate but I just stand there. My coach stares at me. The pitcher laughs and smirks at me. I growl, spit in my gloves, and grip the bat like it was my life. The pitch comes and I close my eyes and swing like there is no tomorrow. The crack of the bat made me open my eyes. I saw the ball sailing over the fence; I had hit a grand slam and given my team a four run lead going to the bottom of the ninth. The bottom of the ninth came, my coach put me in at pitcher. I struck out each batter with three pitches each to win the game. I felt like I was on top of the world, and was soon lifted there by my teammates who cam charging to the mound. What a game!
October 15, 2009