Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday Tripleheader

Had another long day at the ball field Saturday. Will’s team split a doubleheader, then Matthew’s Tigers took the field for their last game of the season. Matthew scored one of his team’s three runs in their loss. Will struck out 6 batters in 2 innings, and again was his team’s most productive offensive player of the day.

Catching his second game of the calendar year, Will had an uneventful defensive first game. Though eleven Sandy Plains Prowlers reached base in the seven inning game, none tried to steal a base. There were no bunts, and the only throws Will had to make were after strikeouts.

With two out in the bottom of the first Will slugged a high line drive to left. The outfielder hustled over to his right and leaped to catch the ball, but then dropped it as he fell to the ground. Will made it to second, then scored when Tanner’s short popup dropped in front of the centerfielder.

Crown added two runs in the 4th and another in the 6th, and won 4-2.

Sandy Plains’ game two leadoff hitter stroked a line drive to shortstop. Will timed his leap and caught the ball for the first out of the game. Later Will added an assist and another putout.

The Prowlers brought in a talented “pitcher-only” to hurl game two. After retiring the first two batters of the game, Will stroked a line drive well over the shortstop’s head for a single. He stole second and third, but was stranded when Tanner walked and Silas struck out.

In the third Will walked on a 3-1 pitch. He scored all the way from first on Tanner’s double to straightaway center.

After Charlie allowed the first three batters to reach in the fourth, Will came on to pitch in relief. In the last two innings he struck out six batters, including the number 2, 3, and 4 batters in the order. All three had doubled in previous at-bats.

Down 8-3, Will sent the first pitch of the last inning deep into the right-centerfield gap. He cruised around the bases for a stand-up triple. Tanner walked and later took second, then both scored when Nate’s one-out grounder skipped past the shortstop. After Nate scored Crown had the tying run on first, but that’s where the rally ended.

Without two of their best players, the Tigers recruited two players from the Nationals for their 3 pm game against Shaw Park. But the two stand-ins went 0-4 and committed a key error. Overall the Tigers committed ten errors. They lost again, but they probably had more fun than they’d had all season.

With one out in the third Matthew drew the first walk for the Tigers, on a 3-2 pitch. He advanced to second on Brock’s walk, took third on Randal’s ground ball, and scored on Nate’s grounder.

After being divided into several factions all season, the kids had a swell time in the dugout, eating doughnuts and having fun. After Matthew was retired in his fifth inning at bat, his teammates Tanner and Nate rushed the length of the dugout to mob Matthew as he came off the field. They escorted him all the way out of the dugout. After the game they had a party with cupcakes, Chex Mix, and giant marshmallows.

After showing up just in time for the 10:55 am first pitch for Will’s first game, Matthew and I didn’t leave the park until after 6 pm. Not long after we got home I was back on the road, taking Anna and Matthew out to their separate bonfires in Johns Creek, for the youth of Passion City Church. It wasn’t worth it to go back home, so we wound up staying out until 10:45 pm.

Exhausted from his Friday afternoon baseball practice and all-night church lockin, Matthew slept five hours Saturday morning, then Sunday he didn’t wake up until 12:30 pm. Thankfully, he was still able to complete his entire math assignment a day early, before heading out to PCC later Sunday afternoon.

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