Stampede Baseball Season

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The season started off with a bang! We had a 10-0 record and had won our first two tournaments, also we had a record of 2-0 in our league. But our first test came in our third tournament, when we were 14-0 overall.

It was a late game at 9:00 at night. We had been down the whole game, but in the bottom of the sixth inning we had come back and were only down 5-4. My team had runners on second and third with two outs with the other team's best pitcher in the game. “Of course I have to be at the plate,” I said to myself, but surprisingly I wasn't nervous, I was excited...

The pitcher was focusing on the catcher, the catcher focused on the pitcher, fans focused on everybody, and me focusing on the pitcher. On the first pitch the pitcher came inside with a hard fastball that was called for a borderline strike. The second pitch I barely caught a piece of and fouled off to the right. The third pitch was yet another fastball I barely hit a piece of it again, I had hit two out of the three balls but none of them on good swings, I was definitely not in a good position. Finally, on the fourth pitch he finally pitched the ball I'd been looking for a fastball middle- in belt high right in my sweet spot, I unloaded and PING!!! I crushed a line drive right up the middle scoring the tying and winning runs just like that. We had won! I was mobbed at first base by all my teammates, as I breathed a sigh of relief,what a game.

That tournament we went on to win and we had started off the season with a 24 game winning streak. Then came our first loss, but it wasn't a big deal because we ended up winning that tournament too. Then came our second test on a night as hot as a car with the heat on in the summer. It was an awesome game when one of our best pitchers was pitching and my team couldn't hit the other pitcher either. In the sixth inning we went ahead 3-2. Except the only thing was that our starting pitcher was running out of stamina. He went through the first two outs easily but then he started to lose control, he walked the next guy, then an infield hit, then another walk and just like that the bases were loaded. So my coach took a slow walk out to the mound to take out Sam (the pitcher at the time) then pointed to me at shortstop to come in and warm up to pitch for the last out of the game. I took my 12 warm up pitches going easy working on my breaking pitches, then on the last three I cut loose on fastballs pop... pop... pop.

My adrenaline was rushing and I was throwing smoke, I looked into the eyes of the guy hitting...fear, was what I saw, this guy was afraid to be at the plate. Smack went the mitt a fastball right down the middle, wait the umpire called it a ball? What kind of call is that I thought to myself but kept a straight face anyway. You've probably heard of players choking at the end of games but not an umpire this guy was horrible! If I struck this guy out he would have to swing. Smack! The ball hit the glove with the batter swinging violently and missing way behind the ball. I threw another fastball and another bad call, with the bases loaded I was behind in the count 2-1. I couldn't walk this guy, I thought to myself. Fastball again right on the inside corner. HOORAY! He finally called a strike what a miracle. The count was 2-2, I was back in good position. The next pitch was actually a ball and the umpire had no problem calling it one 3-2, one more ball and I would walk in the tying run, I really hope the guy swings I thought to myself I do not want the game in the umpires hands. I focused on the little logo on my catchers glove... Pop!!! The ball hit the mitt blowing past the hitter who swung late. My team went nuts on the sideline as we celebrated our close win. After awhile we shook hands with the other team and headed home, what a great feeling.

That baseball season we started off with a bang, and also ended with a bang. In other words we pretty much just had a great all around season. Next year seemed a long way off to be back to throwing,hitting, and diving that I had become accustomed too, but it felt good to have a break from it all. It was the feeling of I-wish-I-could-keep-playing-but-I'm-kind of-glad its over.





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