Tuesday: C, A, & M stayed at home, slept in, watched “The Minutemen” on Disney, and did laundry. Will had another 10:30 am game, this time against the NE Louisiana WarHawks. The day was sunny and much hotter than Monday’s game.
Beforehand Andrew’s dad Ernie invited me up to the scorer’s booth, upstairs from the concession stands and restrooms, in the middle of four fields. AIR CONDITIONING! Since there were no open windows we had to pay special attention, as we were cut off from the normal ballpark noise. Even the scoreboard we were keeping was hard to see.
The Wildcats loaded the bases in the top of the first with one out, then Will popped up…infield fly rule. Will caught the first four innings. In the bottom of the first NE La had runners on first and third, with two out. As usual, the WarHawks’ runner on first broke for second, trying to draw a throw. Will fired the ball to second in time, and the runner stopped, trying to give the runner on third time to score…but Andrew tagged him out before the other runner crossed the plate.
Six runners were stranded by the Wildcats in the first three innings. NE La loaded the bases in the second, and the Wildcats infield was drawn in. The batter grounded sharply to third-baseman Trey, but his throw to force the runner at the plate sailed to the right of the runner, past Will standing in fair territory with his left foot on the plate. Instead of an inning-ending double-play, NE La went up 1 – 0. This run would later loom large.
For the next 3-1/2 innings neither team scored. The WarHawks twice left the bases loaded, as Wildcat pitchers walked six batters in the six inning game. Up 0 – 1 in the count, Will squared to bunt. The pitch came in behind him, hitting Will in the back as Will tried to twirl out of the way. He said he got his hand safely on the base when he tried to steal second, but the confrontational umpire called him out.
NE La scored two more in the fifth, on a leadoff walk and a double down the third-base line (late in the game the baselines should’ve been guarded closer). Will handled his only chance at shortstop flawlessly. Down to their last at bat, the Cats finally rallied. Three straight singles and a walk plated a run, loaded the bases, and chased the pitcher.
Will stepped in with the go-ahead run on first. His hard grounder was speared by the third-baseman, who stepped on the bag for the force…but Nick scored to bring the Wildcats within one. Down one run, Ernie told his wife on the call that the only way Andrew wouldn’t bat would be if there was a double play. Chris hit a line drive right at the second-baseman, who fired to second to double-off Anthony…game over.
Will and I ate with some of the team at Subway, then we drove back to Destin. After some time in the condo and on the beach we ate at an undermanned Moe’s, then found Ceil some clam chowder at Harbor Docks.