Monday, March 06, 2006

Opening Day Games

This was the first sunny weekend of the year in Atlanta, and Saturday morning there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Will’s Cougars team faced the other Mt. Paran team at 9:30 am, while Matthew’s game started at ten. Will was the starting pitcher, and held the Angels scoreless in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning seven of the first eight Cougar batters scored. After Corey led off with a walk, Will grounder hard up the middle. The pitcher deflected the ball with his glove, keeping the ball in the infield, so the runner wasn’t able to score. Will stole second, and both runners scored on Malcolm’s double. I ran up the hill to Matthew’s field while the Cougars were still batting in the first, with only one out and the score 5 – 0. Matthew’s Rock Hounds have some good players. Both the biggest boy and the smallest boy hit home runs, but they lost the game. Matthew played third base two innings, caught an inning (his favorite), and played right field for an inning. The only ball hit to him was in right field, a hard grounder to his left. Matthew actually backhanded the ball, fielding it cleanly. He quickly threw home, making one of the strongest throws I have ever seen him make. The first baseman was in position to be the cut-off man, and the throw sailed past him. At the plate Matthew hit several strong foul balls, some to the first base side, some to the third base side. After the game I ran down to catch the final inning of Will’s game. The player, coaches, and parents of all the teams were gathering at this Pony field for the season opening ceremonies, to begin at the conclusion of Will’s game. When I arrived the Cougars were winning 11-10. Will had allowed one earned run in the second, and finished with 2 strikeouts, and finished having thrown 21 strikes and 18 balls, not bad considering his lack of much practice. In the second inning the second-baseman leaped to spear Will’s line drive, robbing him of a hit. Will played shortstop in the fourth inning. Will came up in the bottom of the fourth with two on and two out, and the Cougars were losing by a run. This time his line drive was well over the second-baseman’s head, driving in both runners to put the Cougars ahead. Will stole second and third, but the next batter grounded out. In the fifth and last inning Will was the catcher. With the big crowd watching, Malcolm got the first two Angels out. On a full count, one strike away from victory, Angel David Bartlett walked. Then he got a great jump off Malcolm and stole second. Will made a quick, strong throw, and almost got him. The next batter tripled to tie the game, and scored the go-ahead run on a base hit. In the bottom of the inning the Angels brought in hard-throwing Chad to close the game. Malcolm walked, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, but Chad struck out three batters, to end the game in a tie. Will had a good day at the plate, going two for three, with two RBIs and a run scored, and three stolen bases.

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