An Underdog Story

November 22, 2011
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It’s possibly the last batter of the game. The scoreboard reads two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and my team is winning by seven runs. I can’t help thinking, ‘One more batter and we are the sectional champs.’ The batter takes a step into the box, and my heart begins pounding. I step onto the mound, grip the pitch I’m going to throw, and start my wind up. The moment I let go of the ball, I can’t help but wondering if it was a good pitch or a bad pitch, or if he is going to hit it or miss. I look up, see him swing, and then hear the “pop” from the ball hitting the bat.

It all started out as a normal spring day. I woke up, prepared for school, just as I do every other day of the week, hopped in my truck, and drove to school. I knew that later that day that the baseball team would get to leave school early, so we could make it to the game on time and have time to warm up. Eventually, 2:30 came around and the team was on the bus ready to go to the game. It was about a half an hour ride, so I listened to my iPod, just as I do on our way to every away game.

We arrived at the field, put on our cleats, picked up our gloves, and went to warm up. Right after we finished warming up, it started to rain. It first started out as a light sprinkle, so I thought, ‘It will pass, and we will still be able to play the game today.’ I was wrong. A couple of minutes later, it started pouring. We could barely see into the other dugout it was raining so hard. The rain finally stopped, and all we could see was what looked like a lake right where the baseball diamond was supposed to be. Needless to say, the game was postponed until the following day. We then drove home, and our coach told us, “Be at the school at 7:45 tomorrow. The game starts at 10:00 tomorrow, and this bus is leaving at 8:00 with or without you.”

I woke up and said, “This is way too early to be at the school on a Saturday morning,” but I prepared myself anyway and headed up to the school. We parted on our way to the field, so I listened to my iPod and tried to prepare myself mentally for the game again. We arrived, and the field crew told us that the field was still too wet to play on; so the game would not start until 11:00 now. For about an hour, we played games of flip, a game that was taught to us by our coach that we always play when we have some down time. After about an hour went by, we went to ask our coach if we should start getting ready. Seeing that the field was still pretty wet he went and asked the field crew if the game was still a go for 11:00. They said no and reported that we most likely would not be able to start until about 1:00 in the afternoon now.

Seeing that the game wasn’t going to start for another two hours, we decided to go into town and get something to eat for lunch. Our coach did not go with us because he was going to stay and help prepare the field, so we could actually start the game at 1:00. Right before we left, my coach clearly stated to the entire team, just joking around, “Don’t get arrested.” We drove into town, parked, climbed out, went to get something to eat, and climbed back on the bus to go back to the field. As we were driving out, we were pulled over in the middle of an intersection by a sheriff. He came on to the bus and asked for number 16. Realizing that I was number 12, I calmed down, knowing that I was not in trouble. All of a sudden I heard the sheriff say that he didn’t need number 16, that he needed Mason, which was me. I started freaking out. I had no idea why he could possibly want to talk to me; I did absolutely nothing wrong. I slowly walked to the front of the bus, and the sheriff asked me if I had a grandpa who drove a red truck. I said no, forgetting that my grandpa just bought a new truck, so he looked at me weird. He then asked me if I knew a person by the name of Robert Medina. I said, “Yeah, he’s my grandpa.” At first I started panicking, thinking that he might have been in a crash and been seriously injured. Turns out that he was just taking pictures of the team and me; he takes many pictures for my parents and my other grandparents, and some random pedestrian saw him taking the pictures of us, thought he was a pedophile, and called the cops. The cop then went and talked to my grandpa, and my grandpa told him that he knew me and was just taking pictures for the family. We were then pulled over by the cop so that he could confirm my grandpa’s story with me. We settled the whole ordeal, and the sheriff let us go on our way.

We pulled back into the parking lot at the field, and all went sprinting toward our coach to tell him what had just happened. He said that we were the worst liars in the world, not thinking that the story was true. Our bus driver came up and then told our coach that it was an honest to God true story. Coach Donsbauch then just about died laughing, thinking it was the funniest story ever. After he regained himself, he told us to go warm up, again.

I now knew that I had to get serious, considering that we were playing the eighth ranked team in the state. I knew it was going to be the toughest game I have ever pitched. Before I knew it, it was 1:00. Game time. We were the away team, which meant that we were the first ones on the field, so I trotted out to the mound, picked up the ball, and threw my seven pre-inning pitches to warm my arm back up. After I was done, the game officially started, and the first batter stepped into the box. My heart has never beat so fast in my life. Having everybody in the stands watching me and my coach staring me down, I knew that I could not mess up. I started my wind up, and before I knew it, the inning was over. I had not given up a single hit, run, or walk. I kept going back out there whenever we were done batting and kept pitching like I had the entire season. Before I knew it, it was the fifth inning, and wouldn’t you know it, it started to rain, again. The game wound up getting postponed, again, until the next day: Sunday.

We drove home, again, and our coach told us what time to be at the school, again. The next morning I woke up and went to the school. My arm was kind of sore from pitching the previous day, but my coach told me that I was finishing the game. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I was excited because I wanted to finish what I had started, and I wanted to get the win but nervous because I wasn’t sure how I was going to pitch that day, considering my arm was sore. We arrived at the field and warmed up just as we had the other two days, and the game started again. The seventh inning rolled around, and at this time the score was 10-3; and we were winning. All I had to do was get three more outs, and we were going to be the sectional champs.

The first batter stepped up to the plate and popped out to center field, and the second kid grounded out to first base. At this time our fans were going crazy, knowing that we needed just one more out to win. The third batter of the inning stepped into the box, and I started my wind up. Strike one. The catcher threw the ball back to me, and I started my wind up again, although this time the batter hit the ball in between the first and second baseman. The first baseman went after the ball, so I had to cover the bag. I started sprinting over to the bag, and I looked up and saw the first baseman bobble the ball. I thought, ‘Oh no, I am going to have to pitch to another batter.’ The first baseman tried picking up the ball again, and this time he managed to pick it up. He threw it over to me; I caught it and stepped on the bag at the exact same time the runner stepped on the bag. Not knowing if he was out or safe, I looked over at the umpire and saw him hold up his fist and yell, “Out!” Everyone on the field sprinted toward me, and we jumped and hollered and cheered. We could not believe that we had just beaten the eighth ranked team in the state to become sectional champions.

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