Every Coach’s Dream, Chapter 13

Every Coach’s Dream, A True Story about Dixie Youth Baseball in Three Small Towns, by Harold A Brown

Chapter 13: League Game Ten – College Grove

Life is about how we handle imperfections.

The Red team will travel to College Grove for game ten. Rocket could legally pitch again on Monday but Coach just didn’t feel that it was fair to him. The others pitchers would have the opportunity to show their stuff.

Rest didn’t seem important for Mike House. He used fourteen pitches to strike out Lajuane, Marty and Teddy.

Marty went to the mound for his team. Terry Bennett had shuffled his batting order. Keith was still batting at the top of the order and drew a walk. Holt struck out and Mike singled to right center and scored Keith. Lakeith hit a fielder’s choice to Lajuane who stepped on second to force Mike out. Martin walked and Williams singled to score Lakeith. Toby, who had been moved down in the order popped up to Rocked at second for the last out.

Darrell hit a fly ball to center that was caught by Holt and Owen got on base with a single. Rocket had a fielder’s choice that forced Owen out at second. Jimmy was another casualty of Mike’s curve ball for the last out of the inning.

Jimmy took possession of the pitcher’s mound and Marty took Rockets place at second while he went to third. Jimmy faced four batters, striking out three and walked one.

This would be Mike’s third and last inning. He was doing an excellent job on the mound. Derek would lead off with a pop to first and Frank would do the same. Lajuane would walk and Marty would strike out. The Red team just couldn’t hit his curve.Coach wanted a repeat of Jimmy’s last inning. They were still in this ball game.

Jimmy must have been thinking about the soft drink and hamburger he was going to have after the game because he certainly wasn’t thinking about the game. He faced seven batters before Coach pulled him in favor of Darrell. Mike would double, no surprise, he was hitting everything. Lakeith would walk on four pitches. Williams would single to score Mike and Lakeith. Jimmy walked the next two batters and struck out Harris on five pitches. At this point Coach had Jimmy swap places with Darrell so he could pitch to Keith, the lead off batter. Darrell got him to pop up to Jimmy at first to end the inning.

They were still in the game despite the lack of concentration by some. The Red team cut the College Grove lead in half in the fourth. They were within striking distance. Teddy struck out to start the inning. Darrell walked as did Owen. Darrell stole two bases and Owen stole one. Rocket walked. Darrell stole home and Owen stole third and scored on a passed ball. Jimmy walked and stole second. Rocket was thrown out trying to steal third. Derek struck out, putting his team back on defense.

Holt flied out to third and Mike had a rare strike out. Lakeith singled to center and Martin walked. Williams single and brought in Lakeith and Martin. They had gotten back the two runs just scored by the Red team.

Toby and Hazelwood walked then Harris struck out. Frank started the fifth with a grounder to short and was thrown out at first. Coach was glad to see him hit the ball even if it was a someone. Lajuane walked and Marty and Teddy struck out.

Darrell struck the first two batter out to start the bottom of the fifth. Mike singled and Lakeith triple to score Mike. Martin grounded to short and Lajuane threw to first for the third out. The Red team needed five runs to extend the game.

Remember, Lakeith did most everything well in sports but his control on the mound could be erratic. He was still on the mound and the Red team had a chance. Darrell struck out and the odds went down. Owen, Rocket and Jimmy walked to load the bases. The odds just went up. Derek single to score Owen and Rocket. Frank single to score Jimmy and Derek. The Red team was feeling good about the way things were headed. Lajuane walked. The two strongest bats were up with two base runners on and they only needed one of them to score for the tie. Marty struck out for the fourth time in the game. Teddy, the number three man in the order, also struck out for the fourth time in this game.

It was over. The Red team had lost two games to College Grove by one run. The accepted rule is that if you win by one the coach gets the credit. Logic would tell you that if you lose by one run the coach gets credit for the loss. Coach was willing to accept full responsibility for the results.

Life is about how we handle imperfections.

Nolensville Red 6, College Grove 7

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