Monday, March 28, 2011

Ten Strikeouts in 4 Innings

Will’s Crown baseball team won games this past Thursday and Friday, both by a 13-0 score.

Friday Will pitched four innings and struck out ten, one of his better performances. 71% of his pitches were strikes, and he threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of 17 batters. Unlike Thursday, Grace Baptist appeared to be a quality opponent on Friday.

Batting leadoff, Will got a single to right, stole a base, and scored a run. The box score didn’t show that he also reached twice on errors.

In the fifth inning Will played shortstop, and made a great backhanded catch on a grounder in the hole.

Thursday Crown took Varsity and JV pictures before the game, and all 19 players stayed and played in the game. The batting order consisted of 18 players, in two groups of nine. Will hit 18th in this order, batted the one time, and scored a run.

In the Varsity drubbing of undermanned Mill Creek, Crown junior-varsity pitcher Charlie V pitched a three-inning no-hitter. During the game I daydreamed that Will could’ve pitched “King & His Court” style, with his catcher the only fielder on the field. Mill Creek is a small school in Fulton County for teens with learning difficulties. Their young team only had one good player, who pitched.

The score was already 10-0 in the third, so Will did not try to steal. The weak Mill Creek catchers and infielders made stealing bases almost a certainty. But with the mismatch in talent, there was no need to steal. Two Crown players stole bases anyway, though one was a JV player who didn’t know better.

Will knocked his second opponent out of the game Thursday when his hard, spinning grounder took a high last hop, deflected off the tip of the shortstop’s glove, then off his face. After initially falling to his knees, the kid was able to walk off the field.

In the top of the first, a Mill Creek batter strode to the plate, twirling his bat. With long hair, short tight pants, and baseball socks showing, one dad thought the teen looked like John Travolta, in the baseball tryout scene in Grease. Another dad pantomimed Travolta pulling the catcher’s mask. When the kid came up in the third, I muttered “Here’s Danny Zooko again.” The other dads cracked up, since they hadn’t remembered Travolta’s character’s name.

The Mill Creek blowout lasted 63 minutes. After the game Coach Rosemond took the team to Buffalo’s for dinner. He had promised the team dinner should they sweep the Tuesday doubleheader with rival Gwinnett. Fortunately for the Crown players, the Barons are rebuilding this season. In addition, two of their best players are injured.

Will was slated to bat leadoff and play shortstop in Monday’s 6 pm game, but it was rained out. Hopefully they’ll be able to play Tuesday night’s doubleheader.

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