At The Wall

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“Lets go, guys, bring it in!” yelled Coach Haretob, giving me one of those mini heart attacks like when you miss a step going down the stairs. The whole team jumped off the bench and huddled around the coach.
“Alright guys, lets close it out. Three more outs and were on a bus to Williamsport. Were up by one. Hold it. Josh, were counting on you.” Haretob pleaded, trying to act calm towards our closing pitcher.
“Alright then, that seems to be it. Panthers on three! “ Hollered Coach Haretob. The whole group of us thrusted our fists over our coach’s head, and chanted along with him. “ONE, TWO, THREE. PANTHERS!” And with that, we all took the field. I ran out to center field, the position I loved playing since I first learned how to play ball. After warming up with the left and right fielder, the field and I bombarded our dugout with baseballs as Coach Haretob called “Balls in!” As the other assistant coaches struggled trying to catch them all. “Play ball!” Bellowed the umpire behind home plate. I watched tensely as Josh got into his windup. No chance. Strike one. Now the second pitch was on its way. The batter swung himself in a complete circle. Strike two. It all seemed to go by so fast. There was not a single sound in the entire complex as the third pitch came. The batter made solid contact, but the bat went slightly over the ball. Josh sprinted off the mound as well as the catcher, Josh avoiding a head-on collision by calling off the catcher, and making a bullet throw to first base to beat the runner by the length of a pen. 1 out. “Only 2 more,” I whispered to myself. “Two more.” I got in my exact position and waited for the next pitch to start the second batter of the inning. The first pitch made contact, and I was almost positive the pressure was taking its toll on Josh. The ball had a lot of hang-time. It was going towards, me, just past second base, but it was also hanging towards second base. I sprinted towards the dropping ball and so was the shortstop, and I did not know which one was going to call it off and catch it. As soon as I knew the shortstop was keeping his eyes on the ball, not me running towards him, i slid towards the left and watched the ball drop into the shortstops mitt. 2 outs. One more and were on to Williamsport. Our right fielder was jumping around with glee. The next batter, was a tall, 5-10 kid, which was pretty tall for a 13 year old. He was their cleanup hitter, and he probably weighed in at 150 pounds. He dug into the plate as the umpire called behind him, “Play Ball!”. I saw Coach biting his nails furiously. The assistant coaches were crouching, and I think I saw one of them looking away, like it was to nerve racking to watch. Josh wound up, and threw with all he had in him. The batter took a huge step and belted it.
The ball had the height, but I was not sure if it had the distance. It was a dead center ball, right where I was, I started to back pedal. The wind that was up there drove the ball right and left, and I had so much trouble keeping up with it. II saw the ball had backspin, and I knew it was going to the fence. I turned around and sprinted for the fence. It was a race between me and the ball now, who would get there first. The ball was a cars length away, and I was at the warning track. I had to make a split-second decision. Let it go, or go for it all? In a situation like this, I went for it. I leaped towards the wall, and my hip hit it with such force, I went spiraling over the fence.
Darkness. Cold. The sullen sound of beeping every one or so seconds. I open my eyes. I am in a polka- dotted cloak, lying in a bed. There is a monitor on a large support next to me, corresponding with every beep with little spikes. I feel a pain in my hip. I look down and see a cast around my waist, squeezing me as if it were an anaconda. I look to my right, and see a shelf overlying a window. And on that shelf, a baseball. There is a poster board on the wall next to it, colored and signed by all my teammates, written in large red letters, were the sweetest words i have ever read. “Nice catch, kid.”





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