Noah started us off with a solid single to right field mimicking his single from yesterday. Aiming for those high fastballs intentionally is really starting to work out for him. If he could pull it to the left though, I wonder if that would give him enough space to turn his singles into doubles. Probably not. They don’t have enough power behind his hits.
I moved to the batter’s box, only for the catcher to get up and jog to the mound. He wasn’t the only one. A coach from their dugout went up there too.
Unsure of what to do, I backtracked to the on deck circle.
“Not the same coach, so it isn’t a pitcher change.” Garret mumbled.
The umpire broke it up. The coach went back to his dugout and the catcher headed to home plate. I was waved back up, but noticed the catcher staying up on his feet. I knew what was coming. I casually held my bat back in the batter’s box, only to stand there and watch four balls pass by beyond the strike zone. An intentional walk.
I sighed, tossed my bat back to my own dugout, then jogged to first.
“Chin up.” Coach Luis clapped his hands twice. “Garret is up next.”
Right. I nodded. Garret bats after me.
With Noah on second and me at first, the first baseman didn’t stay on the bag. He was a bit behind me as I took a small lead. I glanced at Noah and tried to copy how much he stood off the bag, but quickly decided that was a ‘no’ for me. Noah was on the move, taking a big lead, then going back to the bag whenever the pitcher turned to look. He kept it up throughout Garret’s entire at-bat. I don’t know if it had any influence on the pitcher’s mentality, but Garret was able to get the ball through a gap and to the outfield grass.
Everyone sprinted to their next base. I stopped at second seeing as the left fielder threw the ball back in really quick. Luckily there was Mr. Miller giving Noah the ‘stop’ signal otherwise it would have been a close play at home plate, and probably not in our favor.
Bases loaded, no outs for Jason.
Mr. Miller signed for a hit and run. Basically all of us would take off running after the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand and Jason has to make contact. Has to. No matter what. Or Noah will probably be out at the plate.
The pitcher started his motion and threw his first pitch to Jason. Noah, me, and Garret all started to run to the next base. I heard the sound of Jason making contact, but didn’t bother to look. My focus was on reaching third base.
Mr. Miller held me there, signaling no slide. I stood on third securely and looked around to see the result. Noah was easily safe at home, but Garret and Jason were both called out. Jason must have hit a grounder right to one of the middle infielders for them to beat Garret and turn the double play. The three of them all went back to the dugout, leaving me alone on the field.
I stayed ready to run home as soon as Korrey made contact on any pitch. He hit a fly ball to left field again, ending the inning, leaving me stranded on third. I jogged back to the dugout satisfied with our 4-0 lead now. Not bad, if you ask me.
Dave came out for the fourth inning, but got off on the wrong foot, giving up a single on the very first pitch.
I felt more bad than he did though. If anything, giving up that single help him focus in on the following batters. He struck out batters two and three. The cleanup hitter, with the only other hit off Dave, smacked a hard grounder to Noah. Noah dived in the dirt to stop the ball, and was able to toss it to me at second base to get the final out.
Back to the dugout.
“48.” Alisha told Dave, who probably asked her what his pitch count was. “One more and Coach would have taken you out.”
Dave grinned. “I’m just that good.” He sauntered over to Coach. “What do you say? Want to let me bat this inning too? I’m feeling hot.”
Coach rolled his eyes. “Take a seat. You’re done for the day.” He looked down the dugout. “Dalton. You’ll pinch hit in the number nine spot. Start stretching.”
Dalton Nelson. A sophomore like me and Noah. He jumped up at the sound of his name and rushed to get his helmet and batting gloves on. He was ‘in the hole’ before Mitchell could make it out to the on deck circle. Granted, Mitchell had to take off all of his catching gear.
“How do you think he’ll do?” I whispered to Noah as we sat with our bags.
“Who? Dalton?” Noah shrugged. “Who knows. Pinch-hitting isn’t exactly easy. You’re coming in cold and don’t really have much feel for the pace of the pitcher.”
“Do you hope he does well?” I whispered.
Noah was taken aback. “Of course! I want to win. Plus, Dalton isn’t all that bad. We just aren’t close. I was kind of shunned from the other freshmen last year, but he didn’t have it any easier. He almost didn’t make the team.”
I remember. Noah had also complimented him and the other sophomore, Logan, for being hardworking. I glanced around to look for Logan. I wonder how he felt about Dalton getting a chance to play before him. Teams are weird. You might not like everyone and wish them well, but you still want to win. Noah said he wanted Dalton to do well, but I know that if it was Austin, it might be a different story.
Logan had his eyes trained on the field, looking more serious and focused than anyone else in the dugout. Feeling guilty, I turned my attention to the field too.
Jesse was up first. He got a small piece of an outside pitch, popping it up to the first baseman. Mitchell came up second, hitting a single to center field. Noah started to tug on his batting gloves. Dalton’s first varsity-leveled at-bat…was underwhelming. He swung and missed three straight fastballs. I could only hide my grimace as I put my helmet on.
We were back to the top of the lineup. Sean in the batter’s box, Noah in the on deck circle, and me in the hole. Sean made solid contact with a fastball, pulling it down the third baseline. The third baseman made a diving grab before falling in the dirt.
Noah and I took our bats back to our bags.
“Sorry.” Sean muttered to us as he put his batting gear away too.
“Don’t worry about it.” Noah shook his head. “They just got lucky. You hit that pitch very well. Should have been a double down the line. Nothing you can do about it.”
“You’re making contact.” I added.
“Yea, it’s just a matter of time before one gets through.” Noah slapped Sean’s back and jogged out to his position.
I gave Sean a small smile, picked up my glove, and headed out too.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.