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The Greatest Game on Dirt

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I step up to the plate and take in the aroma of the freshly cut grass. Then wait for the pitch to come. The pitcher winds up and throws a pitch outside for ball one. 1-0. The next two pitches are strikes and suddenly the count is 1-2. The fourth pitch comes screaming across the plate and at the last second I take a big old cut at. PING! The ball sores through the air. It’s going, going, going and caught by the center fielder for the last out of the game. Final score is Mustangs; witch is my team, 7. The Tigers 9.

I sit in complete silence on the ride back to my house. I get out and go straight to my room. I hear a knock on my door and say comes in. It’s my dad. My dad is my coach for my team. He is a little odd, but I love him anyway. “Well you did good out there tonight,” he says. “Yeah, but I would like to win one for a change” I say with an angry tone in my voice. “You know you can’t win them all”? “I know that, but when we keep losing constantly I just get tired of it”. “Well okay then. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes,” he says. I go downstairs and go get my food and ask if I can go up to my room and eat. They say yes and then I sprint upstairs. As I chomp down on my food I look at my schedule. I put a big red L on the game against the tigers and then look at the rest of our games. It turns out we don’t have any more games and we are on to tournaments. Our first tournament is on Friday so that is about a week from now. I’m looking forward to it because it is at a ballpark that I can hit a homerun at. The ballpark is called cownie. I love it because the Iowa Cubs team makes it so it is a legit field. Just like the majors.

6 days later
As we pull into the parking lot I see teams warming up on the fields and a chill runs down my back. Finally. It’s here. Game day. We unload the car and head to the scores table to find out what field we play on. We play the Tigers again. It always seems like they are always where we are. Well at least I know it is a team we can beat even though we lost to them last game. We play on field 6 so we go over there and start warming up. The game starts in five minutes so we get in a huddle and start talking about our game plane. The game is about to start and we are home. So we are in the field first. Trey Washington is our starting pitcher and he strikes out the first to batters and the third batter pops up to left field. By the way I am playing center field.

I am third in the batting order so I am our power guy. The batting order goes Drew Kearney, Trey Washington, Nathan Brown, Spencer Hansen, Sam Glasgow, Jacob Prohaska, Parker Oviatt, Brett Foreman, Trevor Grove, Brody Gannon, and Nash Weeks. Drew goes up to the plate and runs the count to 3-2. Then takes a big cut and lines a single to right field. Trey comes up to the plate takes a swing and hits a gap hit to left center witch scores Drew and Trey gets a double. Finally I come up to the plate. I look down the third base line and get the sign from my other coach Pat Kearney. He is Drew’s dad. The sign is swing away so I get into the batters box and wait for the pitch to come down the plate. It’s belt high, but I lay off of it and take strike one. The next pitch is a little outside for ball one. The count is 1-1. The next pitch is the most glorious pitch I have ever seen in my life. Right where I like it. A little inside and a little up in the zone and I take a huge swing at this and I can tell it is going far. I’m rounding first base and I hear a sound that I did not want to hear. The sound of a ball hitting a fence and I look out into deep left field and the ball is sitting by the fence and that is when I just take off into a dead sprint. I get to second when the left fielder gets to the ball and I round second and head to third. It is going to be a close play, but I think I can get in there safe and sound. Pat yells slide, slide, slide. I get down into the dirt and hope I don’t get called out. I hear Pat yelling at me to get up and I look through my peripheral vision and see the ball just sitting there in the dirt no one with in 10 yards of it and I have no idea what has happened so I just take off for home. Finally a player gets the ball, but it is to late. I have already crossed home plate safely and i'm get mauled by my teammates, because I have just got an inside the park homerun. Now we are up 3-0.

It’s the bottom of the fourth inning when I get up to the plate again and the bases are empty. The score is tied at 3. We have been held scoreless from the second inning and hopefully I am about to change that. There are no outs. There is a new pitcher and he throws even slower then the other one. He sends in the first pitch and it is ball one. The second pitch is up in the zone and I hit it for a single. I am on first base and I look over to get the sign from Pat. He tells me to steal and tells Spencer to not swing. I lead off the base a little just like my dad tells me and get a little bit more off the base and when the pitcher winds up I take off. The catcher has a good throw but the shortstop boots it and I am in second safely with the steal. The next pitch gets passed the catcher and I take off for third and get in safely with no slide. Spencer has a 2-0 count on him. The next pitch comes in and he hits a pop fly to center and I tag and wait until he catches the ball. Ounce he catches the ball I sprint home and get in safely. We take the lead and keep it until the end of the game with the final score Mustangs 4 Tigers 3.

This tournament is really weird because we are already in the championship. The game is against the Des Moines Legends. They are kind of one of our rivals. We are about the same in skill level to. The game starts at 7 tonight under the lights. It’s 6 right now and we are heading to the game. As we arrive I see our rivals already warming up on the field. As my friends would say they are a bunch of tools. When we get to the field my dad tells us to go run foul pole to foul pole and back. When it’s almost game time we get in a huddle like usual and we talk about our game plane. We head out to our positions and I am pitching tonight. The first batter comes up to bat and I show him what I got. I throw my cut fastball and fool him as the ball tails out to the right. My second pitch is a ball and the third is right down the middle, but he does not swing. 1-2. Next I throw a changeup and strike him out. One down two more to go. The next batter pops up to shortstop and the third hits a grounder to first to retire the side. We are up to bat and I get up with a man on first and second. On the first pitch I hit a grounder to second that gets under his glove. Drew scores and Drew gets to third. I steal second and Spencer flies out to third and the double up Drew for a double play. I get up in the third inning and ground out to third and by the way I am not pitching anymore. I get up in the bottom of the sixth, witch in my league is the last inning. There is no one on base and there are 2 outs. There is a medium fast pitcher on the mound and I know I can hit him hard. I step into the box and take the first three pitches for 2 balls and 1 strike. The next pitch is just as glorious as the one I hit the inside the park one off of. I take a big swing and the ball sores through the air. Its going way back and….and…..and it’s gone!! We won. We won. We Won! Just like the inside the park homerun I get mauled again.

At the trophy ceremony they call my name and I go up and receive my trophy and we head home. My dad and I talk the whole way home. “That was an amazing game out there Nathan,” says dad. I say “ thanks it’s the greatest game on dirt.” “It sure is,” he says. “ It sure is.”





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