An Unforgettable Game

February 1, 2010
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This past summer I spent a good deal of my time playing baseball. One particular event this season was unforgettable. My baseball team, the Titans, had made it to the championship game of our tournament. In an unexpected sequence of events, I was called on to pitch in this game after having just thrown all five innings in the rain-shortened previous game. I had been able to keep my pitch count down to a minimum, so I thought that I could probably pitch another two or three solid innings. Never did I imagine how much I would really end up throwing, though.

I can do this, I told myself as I walked out to the mound to start my second consecutive game. My arm was not a problem in this first inning, as I easily mowed down the first three batters in order. Our team managed to score one run, giving me confidence as I started the second inning. Now I need to keep this lead I thought to myself. Once again, I set the first three batters down. I’ll can probably manage to throw one more inning, I thought.

Sure enough, I was called on to pitch the third inning, after our team was set down in order again. Oh, no, I thought, as the first batter knocked a single. Gathering myself together I set the next batter down, but the runner on first move up to second. Now the other team was threatening to score. Putting everything I had into what I thought would be my last few pitches, I set down the next batter. Just One more, I told myself, but the next batter hit a single to score the runner. My heart sank as I saw the scoreboard flash the tied score, 1-1. After a few words of encouragement from my teammates I struck out the final hitter.

“How’s your arm?” asked my coach anxiously as I walked towards the dugout.
“I guess I can do one more,” I replied, after briefly considering the option of sitting on the bench. While I knew that I had thrown a tremendous number of pitches, I did not feel any pain in my arm. That inning my team broke out for three runs as we took the lead 4-1. Now I knew that I could hold the other team. And hold them I did, as I set down three straight batters.
“Any chance you could throw one more?” my coach asked.
As long as I was succeeding I saw no reason to stop, so I told my coach I could go another inning.

Our team did not score, and once more I put down three straight batters. This time my coach did not bother to ask me, but rather told me to pitch another inning. It was all fine with me. In the sixth inning, with the lead still 4-1, I walked the first batter. I steadying myself, I put the next two batters down. Last one, I told myself. Summoning every last bit of strength I had in me, I threw my final pitch, causing the batter to ground out. I finally came out of the game after that inning, and as I watched our new pitcher finish off the game, I knew it my effort had been worthwhile.

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