Thursday, February 28, 2008

High School Varsity Debut

Will was quite humble describing his play in his High-School Varsity baseball debut, hardly mentioning the large role he played in his Northside Christian Athletics Lions doubleheader sweep over the Georgia Force, in Winder Thursday night. He was the youngest of four players to go 3 – 6 or better at the plate.

After winning Game One 15 – 3, Will was named the starting pitcher in Game Two. He retired the side in the first inning on 9 pitches, striking out the number 3 hitter on a full-count called third strike. The first two Force batters reached to lead off the second, on an error and a full-count ball four just low. Will then struck out the next three hitters to strand the runners.

In the third inning Will struck out three more batters. On one strikeout the catcher couldn’t pick up the dropped third strike in time to put out the batter. Will got the other out on a hard grounder hit right back at him. He speared the ball just behind him, and threw out the runner at first.

He finished with 7 strikeouts in 3 innings, and allowed no earned runs. Will played the rest of the game in left field, but did not have a ball hit to him in 7 innings of outfield play.

At the plate Will went 1 – 2 in Game One. He hit a hard grounder past the first-baseman for a single, then raced to second on the throw to third. Two batters later his former teammate David, the hard-playing catcher, doubled to the fence in left-center with the bases-loaded, driving in 3 runs.

In Game Two Will went 2 – 4 with a run scored and RBI. In the second he hit a grounder off the third-baseman’s glove. The shortstop had moved to his right to field the grounder, which deflected to the area the shortstop had vacated. The second-baseman chased the ball down. With second-base uncovered, Will made it there safely. He advanced to third on James’ single, and scored on a wild pitch.

With 2 out and runners on second and third in the top of the 3rd, Will laced a line drive into left-field that the outfielder fielded on one hop. The ball was hit too hard for the runner on second to score, so Will only got one RBI on the play. He was robbed of a hit in the 5th, when the shortstop dove to catch his hard grounder right at second base. The shortstop instantly tagged the bag with his glove to retire Isaac coming in from first, then rose to his feet and just barely threw out Will at first…an amazing double-play.

Besides the hard-playing David, the Lions are made up of several other older, hustling players. David’s cousins Josiah and Isaac G played Flight basketball with Will, and both are even better on the diamond. Flight Varsity captain Ben, DJ’s older brother, also played well. Coach Roy’s twin 18-year old sons James and Josiah scored 9 runs between them.

Leading the way offensively:
James (Sr): 3 – 6 with 6 runs, an RBI, BB, SB, 2B, & HBP
David (Jr): 3 – 5 with 4 runs, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 2B, 3B, & HBP.
Josiah G (Jr): 3 – 7 with 6 runs, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB, 2B, HR.
Josiah R (Sr): 3 runs, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Steve (Jr): 3 – 6 with 3 runs, 5 RBI, two 3Bs, Sac, BB, & HBP
Will (Fr): 3 – 6, with 2 runs & an RBI.

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