The Finish

February 26, 2013
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The Finish

Tyler didn’t know it, but today was going to be the best day of his life. It was towards the end of the Spring, and one couldn’t ask for better weather. The baseball season consisted of warm weather and continued to get warmer day after day. If someone were to ask a baseball player their preference of weather to play in, they would say something along the lines of warm but not hot, no cloud in the sky, and a slight breeze. This was the exact forecast of Tyler’s game. However, this game wasn’t just a game, it was the State Championship. Every young kid’s dream was to be one of the players in the future holding up that State Championship trophy. Tyler shared that dream as a little kid. Today, Tyler had been given a chance to achieve something he had waited for his whole life. The best part it wasn’t just about winning the State Championship, but much more. The game would be played at a field dedicated to Tyler’s grandfather.

Throughout the baseball season, Tyler was always on the bottom of the list from a talent perspective. The only positive attribute that Tyler contained was his speed. Although he was really fast, he couldn’t do anything with it because he would fail to hit the ball. After every game that led up to today, Tyler’s batting average was .190. Matt and Brent, the best players of the Boise Christian Huskies, believed that the only reason Tyler was on the team was because of his money. The other teammates didn’t argue otherwise because they knew it was true. Despite all the team’s thoughts about Tyler and his situation, the coaches still had the confidence in his ability. They played him every game with the hope that eventually he would come out of his slump. He would get a couple of hits here and there, but he was still considered the worse player on the team. Tyler knew he was not the best on the team, but that didn’t stop him from going out and giving 100 percent every time.

Overall, the Boise Christian Huskies went through the regular season with only three losses. Based on this record, they were given the privilege to host their District tournament. Given the fact they only had three losses, they had all the momentum. The Huskies only needed three wins to advance onto State. Although the Huskies were the number one team in their District, it wasn’t going to be a cake walk to the State tournament. Each team was going to give their best effort, so they could receive the satisfaction of beating the Huskies. Despite the target on their back, the Huskies managed to roll through Districts. They had made it to the State tournament for the first time in school history. This was such an honor for the players and staff to be a part of. Every game, except the championship, would be played at Eagle Park. Going to the State tournament was so much more significant for Tyler because the championship game would be held at Hawkins Field, the stadium dedicated to his grandfather.

Once the coach got the call from the State tournament director, he sent out a mass text to his players requesting a meeting prior to their first game. Everyone showed up to hear what the coach had to say.

“Alright guys. First, let me start off by telling you we got the second seed,” Coach said.

“Aw, man!” answered the players.

Despite their disappointment in being the second seed, it was expected because the Nampa Lightening was extremely talented as well, and only recorded two losses on the season.

“It’s alright guys. We don’t need to worry about that. We just need to go out there and play to our level. I have all of the confidence in the world that we can win it all. This is our time to shine boys. God chose our team to finally make it to State this year. Let’s go out there, make him proud, and bring the trophy back to Boise Christian! Who’s with me?” Coach said.

All of the players were provided a huge adrenaline rush and jumped up and down screaming with enthusiasm. Following that excellent speech, not one player had their head down. The next day, each player showed up with their game face on, ready to play. Other teams were intimidated by them as they walked by because they looked so determined. Their goal was to win State, and they weren’t going to let anyone stop them. On each of the player’s hats was a number five. This five represented the number of wins they needed to win State and hold that trophy sky high. The Huskies rolled through the first three games, not giving their opponents a chance to win. More and more fans rolled in to watch the Huskies’ attempt to make history.

The semifinal between the Meridian Patriots and the Boise Christian Huskies was truly a nail biter. This game came down to the end. Top of the seventh inning, and the score was 2 to 1 in the Huskies’ favor. There were men on first and third with one out. A double play would end the game and the Huskies would be on their way to the championship for the first time. The pitcher stood off the mound and looked up into the sky praying for a ground ball to end the game.

“Hey, relax. Just keep hitting your spots and get us out of here!” Coach said.

The pitcher turned to the coach and nodded. He stepped on the rubber, and the first pitch he threw was a ground ball towards second base on Matt’s (the shortstop) side. Matt took it himself, stepped on second, and with all he had, threw the ball to first. Everyone kept their eyes on the play as the Huskies were about to make history. Brent, the first baseman, caught the ball and the game was over. Gloves from every player flew in the air. Finally, the Huskies moved onto the championship to face the Nampa Lightening. Tyler was crying tears of joy because his last game would now be played on a field named after his grandfather. The team made it to the championship, but still had not yet completed their goal of winning it all.

Following the arrival of both teams, the Huskies went to right field and did their usual prayer. After the prayer, each player took a second to look around the field and noticed the abundance of fans that showed up. There must have been at least 10,000. The game got under way, and it was back and forth the whole time. Just like the semifinal game, this game was going to come down to the wire. It was the bottom of the seventh, and the coach was given no choice but to tell Tyler to grab a bat. Immediately after Tyler processed what the coach asked of him, his heart felt like it was pounding out of his chest. Matt had just struck out and the game was now in Tyler’s hands. With two outs in a tied ball game and a runner on third, Tyler felt as if a boulder was resting on his shoulders. There was so much pressure put on him. Once he got in the batter’s box, he requested time from the umpire as he was kicking dirt aside for his foot placement. Tyler had completely tuned out all the noise from the stands and just stared down the pitcher. Once the pitcher got set on the mound, Tyler clinched the handle of the bat even tighter. The pitcher released the ball and it appeared to be in slow motion. He swung the bat and a loud ting arose from the impact. The ball sailed just over the outstretched glove of the pitcher and landed just shy of the center fielder. Everyone sprinted out of the dugout and tackled Tyler to the ground. They had just won State! Tyler along with everyone else couldn’t believe what they had just accomplished. Everyone in the stands and on the field would cherish this moment for the rest of their lives. The Huskies gathered around the mound and embraced the trophy. Tyler had cleaned everything out of the dugout and met his family outside. Immediately he burst into tears. This was the best day of Tyler’s life.

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