Monday, March 21, 2011

Leadoff Home Run

Batting leadoff for the first time this season, Will opened his doubleheader by hitting a home run far over the centerfield fence. It was his third home run to lead off a game in his career. This Saturday he was even more productive than last weekend, with six RBIs and nearly hitting for the cycle.

Here’s what Will did in each plate appearance…

1st…The home run came on the second pitch of the game.

2nd…With runners on 2nd & 3rd, Will laced a one-hopper in the hole. The fine shortstop was able to backhand the ball, but knowing he had little chance to get the out at first, he instead tried to get the runner headed to third. His throw was high. The official scorekeeper ruled it an RBI single. After advancing to third, Will scored on a groundout to the third-baseman.

3rd…In the third inning Will stroked a line drive seep into the gap in right-center. At first I thought the ball would carry all the way to the fence, with only two or three bounces. Instead the ball died in the grass, and Will was held to a 2-RBI double.

4th…With a single, double, and homer in the books, Will only needed a triple to hit for the cycle. He hit a line drive into right field and took off, rounding first, and didn’t stop until he made it to third. Unfortunately, the hit was an obvious single that the poor rightfielder badly misplayed into a two-base error. The hit drove in two more runs, giving Will six RBIs for the game.

Later in the same 4th inning Will’s spot in the order game up again, with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Up 23-0, Will was lifted for a pinch-hitter. Ian promptly stroked a single to right, driving in both runners. So Will just missed having an 8 RBI game!

Will led off the second game by hitting another hard grounder. The second-baseman went to his right and back-handed the ball, knocking it down. After scooping it up, his throw pulled the first-baseman off the bag. Tough play. Hit or error? Chris said error, Nathan’s dad said hit. Will advanced to third on Ian’s grounder. With runners on 1st and 3rd, Crown executed a double-steal. When Ian took off for second, the catcher fired to the shortstop, charging in on the grass. Will took off from third and slid in, safely ahead of the throw.

Later in the game Will walked, stole second, advanced to third on a 1-3 groundout, and scored on Patrick’s single.

Playing third base, Will handled all three ground balls hit his way.

Stats from both games combined, ranked by my Productivity System…

Will…5-7, BB, 5 runs, 6 RBIs, 2B, HR, 2 SB (21/7=3.00)

Russell…4-5, double, 4 runs & RBIs (13/5=2.60)

Franklin…2-2, BB, HBP, 4 runs, 2 RBIs (10/4=2.50)

Jake…0-1, 2 BBs, 2 runs, 3 SB (7/3=2.33)

Patrick…2-3, HBP, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 SB (9/4=2.25)

Ray…2-3, BB, 3 runs & RBIs, sacrifice (9/5=1.80)

Adam…2-3, BB, run, 2 RBIs, SB (7/4=1.75)

Nick…0-2, 2 BBs, 4 runs, RBI (7/4=1.75)

Nathan….1-4, run, 2 RBIs, double (5/4=1.25)

Michael…1-3, BB, 2 runs, RBI (5/4=1.25)

Ian…1-5, run SB, 3 RBIs (6/5=1.20)

Tanner…2-6, BB, HBP, 4 runs, RBI (9/8=1.125)

Jordan…2-4, 3 runs, 3B (6/6= 1.00)

Braeden…1-6, 2 BBs, 2 runs, 2 RBIs (7/7=1.00)

Sam…0-3, run (1/3= 0.33)

Crown’s Rossville, GA opponent had swept last year’s doubleheader with a squad loaded with talented seniors. This year they only had a couple of good players, and the outfielders literally were unable to catch a fly ball. In the fourth inning Crown batted around TWICE, scoring 15 runs in the inning. Game One ended 27-0 after 5 innings. Using my scorecard and notes, I later determined that had Rossville fielded even average high-school outfielders, Crown would’ve “only” won Game One by an 11-0 score. Game Two was called in the top of the fourth, with Crown leading 11-4. Rossville had run out of pitchers!

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