Every Coach’s Dream, A True Story about Dixie Youth Baseball in Three Small Towns, by Harold A Brown
Chapter 10: League Game Seven – Rockvale
Always get even with those that help you.
Game seven would be Rockvale again, the only difference was location and Monday instead of Friday. Coach would start Rocket. That would make his defense stronger not to mention Rocket’s strength on the mound. Rockvale’s strength was their first four batters. He just needed to throw strikes to the bottom five.
Rocket: Tim “Rocket” Ridley was a delight to be around. He had a difficult existence but he made the most of it. The adults enjoyed him and his teammates cared even more. His Uncle Frank had taken him in along with his siblings. Few people would take on such a responsibility. The Ogilvie family was very special. Rocket’s mother was able to attend some of his games and was always very congenial. During the time that Coach had contact with Rocket he lived with at least three different family members. He never lost his love for others.
Rocket took the mound with a vengeance. He struck out three of the first four batters he faced in the top of the first inning and gave up a single to the second hitter.
Chris Burns would be pitching for his father. His start was not as strong as Rocket’s but the results were the same. No runs were scored in the first inning. Chris left two runners on while getting one strikeout with two base hits. Teddy was moved up to the three spot and rewarded Coach with a double.
Rocket did more of the same in the second. He faced three batters, striking out two and relying on his defence for one more out.
Chris faced eight batters in the bottom of the second. He gave up two runs and left three runners standing on their base. His two strikeout were timely.
Rocket lost his concentration. He only walked one batter but that was the first one he faced in that inning. When he got to the top of their batting order he gave up three hits to their top four hitters. He did have two strikeouts in the inning but gave up three runs. That was the first time that Rockvale had taken the lead against the Red team.
Owen led off the bottom of the third. Chris hit him with the first pitch. Ouch! Rocket hit into a fielders choice and Owen was thrown out at second. Rocket stole two bases and home to tie the ball game. Chris walked the next five batters before his father replace him with Paul Burns. Paul’s defense let him down when they committed an error and Teddy was allowed on base. His control was not great but he did get a big strikeout when he struck out Jimmy for the third out. The Red team scored seven runs and sent twelve batters to the plate. It would be hard for Rockvale to overcome that score.
Darrell would get two unassisted outs on first and Rocket would strike out one in the top of the fourth. He didn’t do his job with the bottom two batter, walking both, but he did leave them on base.
Frank and Derek both hit the ball to second and were thrown out at first. Lajuane and Marty both walked. Teddy came up with two men on and two outs. Coach was getting what he wanted, his number three hitter was up with two runners on base. Teddy hit a deep fly ball to center field. It was the first pitch that Paul threw to Teddy and he was waiting on it. Shockey made the catch that most outfielders in this age group would not have a chance in a million of making.
Rockvale entered the top of the fifth knowing that they needed six runs to tie the game. Rocket could tasted victory. He would be facing batters two, three and four, the toughest Rockvale had to offer. He struck out the first batter, walked the second. You could see him bow his back and go to work. He struck out the last two with a resolve that made Coach smile. Rocket struck out eleven batters in five innings. That went well with the four walks which represented a good day’s work. Rocket was the man. Always get even with those that help you.
Rockvale 3, Nolensville Red 9