Will played with the Mt. Paran Colt Team Sunday night in an Acworth Tournament. The team lost 6 – 1 in five innings, with a good Acworth team scoring one run in two separate innings, and two runs in two other innings.
Will played second-base in innings one, three, and five, and had more assists than anyone on field. With one out in the top of the first the batter chopped a one-hopper to Will’s left. While the ball was high in the air, I remembered a stitch had broken on Will’s glove, creating a hole in the pocket. I had packed his extra glove, but evidentially Will had fixed his favorite mitt he had). The high bounce settled into his glove, and Will made a tough throw to first, still on the run to his left.
In the top of the third Acworth had a runner on third with two out. Down two runs, Mt. Paran needed an out. The batter hit a grounder in the hole between first and second. Will ran to his left and dove, stretching completely vertical. He hit the ground, then turned his head to look for the ball in the outfield. He didn’t see it…he had it in his glove! He quickly got up and threw the batter out at first, saving a run.
Will’s left-handed friend Chris came in to pitch the fifth. He picked three runners off first, but Chad was unable to throw the runners out at second. Later Will was playing close to the bag when the batter grounded a slow roller past the pitcher. Will charged in front of the baserunner and flipped to first. The next batter was a lefty, so Will played him in the hole. But the lefty hit a grounder to Will’s right, and Will made a nice backhanded catch, again throwing out the batter…ending the inning.
At the plate Will was the only one on the team to put the ball in play both times. He led off the third and said he made solid contact…but skied a high popup. The pitcher called for it, but couldn’t handle the catch. Will took second on a wild pickoff attempt, and raced to third on a wild pitch, but three batters struck out to end the threat.
Acworth changed pitchers in the fourth after a bases loaded walk brought home Chad, who had led off the inning with a long single that one-hopped the fence in right-center. Chad’s father had just said he’d like to see him get hold of one, and he did. The centerfielder played the ball quickly off the fence and fired to second, making extra bases impossible. The new pitcher had a nice goatee, and after throwing two fastballs that Will Grey couldn’t handle, broke off three straight curves to strike him out. Will Murphy came up and made contact on the first pitch, but popped out to deep second. The pitcher then struck out Willie and Nathan.
Other notes from the game: The mighty Willy Bartlett actually had an ordinary game. He led off the bottom of the first with a walk and promptly stole second on the first pitch, but was stranded at third. Later he chased a two-strike curve that tailed out of the strike zone, then tipped another third strike that the catcher hung on to. He threw out two batters on grounders to short, before moving to centerfield.
These 15 – 18 year olds play some good baseball. Starting pitcher Nathan Noel pitched admirably, then at shortstop made a bases-loaded double play to save at least two runs. With the infield in, a low line drive was hit to Nathan’s right. On his knee he backhanded it just off the ground, then quickly flipped to third to double off the runner.
Even when the ball was hit into the rightfield corner, a quick relay almost got the runner at third. The relay was off the mark…but the alert leftfielder was there backing up the play. Playing centerfield, Chad almost threw out the batter at second on a ball hit to the fence.