Every Coach’s Dream, Chapter 18

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

Chapter 18: All-Stars & Epilogue

Find satisfaction in the struggle.

All-Star selection can be such a political process and often unfair to the kids. Coach was not going to be the head coach of the team. That was an honor won by Coach Bennett. He would do a good job with the boys that he wanted on the all-star team.

Each coach presented what he thought were worthy choices from all the teams and then Coach Bennett would make a case for those he wanted. There was much discussion but little changed. Lajuane made it for his defensive skills, Rocket because of his bat and arm. He hit .613 for the season and won five of six games on the mound. Marty made the team because of his bat and Owen was chosen because he was the best catcher in the league. He hit for an average of .394 and had an on base percentage of .623.

Jimmy, Teddy and Darrell certainly were worthy choices for the team but did not make it. Coach made no excuses for them not making the team. They would have to find satisfaction in the struggle, it’s just part of growing up. Into each life some rain must fall.

Nolensvelle Red finished the regular season with a 9-3 record as did College Grove. The Red team had an overall record of 13-3 and College Grove finished with a 11-5 overall record. Rockvale finished the regular season 8-4 and overall 10-6. Nolensville Blue finished the regular season 2-11 and 3-13 overall.

This all took place in the summer of 1987 with a group of youngsters that bonded into what could easily be called every coach’s dream.

The end.


What is contained in the series of eighteen posted chapters has been the entirety of “Every Coach’s Dream, A True Story about Dixie Youth Baseball in Three Small Towns”, the book my Dad wrote about one of his favorite baseball coaching experiences.

I feel he wrote this book just for me, but it is my hope you feel he wrote it just for you.

Throughout the experience of reading the book, preparing each chapter in WordPress to share, rereading each chapter as it posted, and seeing your reaction and interest, I decided to take a few next steps.

If you want to print the book yourself to read, I added a few buttons at the bottom of each post, one of which is Print. I am also considering looking into setting up a printed version so let me know and we may pursue the paperback book option if there is enough interest.

I am moving my family back to the southeast early 2018. I will be planning a team reunion after we are settled. If anybody would like to help please let me know. Charlotte, North Carolina is much closer to Nolensville than Phoenix, Arizona.

After seeing the reaction to the book I decided to include the wisdoms from each chapter in one place here. Some of these wisdoms have hit me very hard over the last few months, even though they are each lessons my Dad began teaching to me since the day I was born. My Dad, always teaching.

18: Find satisfaction in the struggle.

17: The more you learn the more you realize how little you know.

16: Youth looks to the future and old age looks to the past.

15: Life isn’t about saving, it’s about scattering.

14: See the ball, hit the ball.

13: Life is about how we handle imperfections.

12: Things that matter the most should not be placed at the mercy of things that matter the least.

11: Understand the past, Respect the future.

10: Always get even with those that help you.

9: What you become depends on decisions not conditions.

8: You can learn from everyone.

7: We have to learn as we go.

6: The strength of the individual is team and the strength of the team is the individual.

5: Will our experience be a friend or foe?

4: The real challenge comes from within.

3: Life and dreams do not exist apart.

2: They felt good as a team.

1: The higher your expectation the greater your achievement.

I hope you enjoyed!


Owen W Brown

Every Coach’s Dream, Chapter 17

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

Chapter 17: Game Two In The Tournament – College Grove

The more you learn the more you realize how little you know.

The finals of the tournament would be Saturday night at College Grove.

Nolensville Red had won the Jamboree at the beginning of the season and wanted to win the tournament. They tied College Grove in the regular season, but The Grove had beaten Nolensville Red more times in the head-to-head during the regular season. Because of that they were going to be rewarded with the first place trophy.

The all-stars had been chosen, but would not be announced until after the game. The stands were full of fans from all four teams.

Rocket would get the start in their final game. Keith Bennett would lead off the top of the first with a walk. Not a good start for Rocket. Toby Pace would line out to the pitcher and Mike House hit a grounder to Lajuane at short. Lajuane threw to first for the out and Keith moved to second on the play. Rocket was told not to throw anything close for Lakeith.

If College Grove was going to win, they were going to have to do it with some of their other players. Rocket didn’t like it but he gave Lakeith a free base. While J.D. Martin was batting, Keith thought he would steal home. What was he thinking? When he made his move to home, Rocket threw a shot to Owen to record the last out.

Lajuane struck out to start the inning and Owen walked and stole second. Marty was hit by the second pitch he saw. Rocket couldn’t get the bat on the ball and was sent back to the dugout with out number two. That left Jimmy to bring Owen in. He got under the ball for an easy pop fly for Lakeith at second. Two base runners were stranded.

J.D. Martin came back to the plate and grounded to second for a force out at first. That was a big out. Martin had been hitting the ball all season. Rocket got Williams on four pitches but walked Holt. His control was not what Coach had hoped for. Lewis grounded to second and Marty threw to Lajuane who was covering second for the third out. Thank goodness for good defense.

The Red team sent four batters to the plate in the bottom of the second. Darrell struck out but Teddy reached first on a fielding error but was thrown out at second trying to squeeze that extra base. Derek walked and Frank flied out to first. Derrick was left on base.

Derek Pack: Derek loved playing sports. He was an excellent player and eventually went into coaching. Whatever he did, he was a winner. He was trying to fit in but born to stand out.

Nathan Scales was the ninth hitter for College Grove and led off the top of the third. Rocket got him on three straight pitches. Nathan was a big kid that had trouble meeting the ball. Heaven help any pitcher that hit his bat. They would still be looking for the ball. Rocket took great delight in striking out Keith Bennett. I don’t know why but there seemed to be some upmanship between the two.

Toby Pace had been moved back up in the line up and it was going to pay off for Coach Bennett. He hit a single in the gap between center and right field. Mike doubled putting runners on second and third. Sticking to the plan, Rocket gave Lakeith a free base to load the bags. J.D. Martin doubled, driving in all three runners. So much for strategy.

Things often go unseen in life and Coach wasn’t sure if the umpire had seen what he saw. At his direction, an appeal was made at third. Lakeith had not touched the bag as he rounded it for home. It was a successful appeal and Lakeith was called out erasing one of the runs and recording the third out. It would be a critical error for College Grove.

The Red team was back to the top of their order. Lajuane got his base on balls. Owen got a fielder’s choice that forced Lajuane out at second. Marty came to play and doubled to score Owen. Rocket hit the ball so hard that he forced and infield error that scored Marty. The game was tied. Jimmy liked what he saw Rocket do and he did the same.

Runners were now on second and third. Mike struck Darrell out and got a pop up from Teddy for the final out of the third. The bottom four batters in Coach Bennett’s line up were weak hitters. Rocket knew that but knowing and being able to do something about it wasn’t always easy. He struck out Williams on three pitches. Holt hit the second pitch back to the mound for a throw out at first base. Harris did the same and got the same results. Derek would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a shot back to the mound and was thrown out at first. Frank doubled and stole third. Lajuane struck out and Owen grounded to second for a force at first. Frank was left stranded at third.

Hazlewood had taken Nathan’s place but repeated the same results. Out number one. Keith struck out for the second time in a row. Toby walked and Mike doubled him home putting them ahead by one.

Rocket pleaded with Coach to let him pitch to Lakeith. Coach should have stuck with the plan but he wanted to show that he had confidence in his pitcher. It was certainly a chance to build character. Rocket was way ahead in the count when Lakeith got his single, driving in Mike at second. Two runs ahead. J.D. Martin singled in Lakeith. Three runs ahead. Williams struck out on three pitch and the bleeding was stopped.

Mike came back to the mound to start the bottom of the fifth. He had to be tired but he was the best they had even though tonight wasn’t one of his better games. With three runs down the Red team had a chance to prove something or fold. Marty led off with a double. He would finish the season with a team high batting average of .667 and an on base percentage of .773. I don’t think he cared about that one bit, he wanted to win this last game against College Grove.

Coach Bennett made what he thought was the best move possible to preserve the lead. Lakeith Vaughn moved to the mound and Mike took over second. With Lakeith you just had to be patient at the plate. He threw hard but his control was still suspect. In fairness, most batters were glad to take three swings and go sit down rather than take a chance on being hit. That was not the case with Coach’s boys. Rocket was patient and drew a walk. Jimmy hit a high fowl ball on the first base side and J.D. Martin made the catch for the first out.

Darrell was as smart as Rocket and made Lakeith throw strikes but he could not throw enough of them so Darrell got a free base. They were loaded with Teddy coming to the plate. He had been hitting the ball all night but not for base hits. With Lakeith ahead in the count one and two, Teddy tripled to the fence and cleaned all three off the bases. The game was tied once again. Derek took enough time at the plate for Teddy to do what he did to Rockvale. To make it sweeter he stole the base on Keith. The Red team was ahead by one. Derek struck out as did Frank. Five innings were in the book.

Because Rocket had pitched one inning at Rockvale he was not eligible to pitch in the sixth. Darrell moved to the mound and Jimmy took first. Rocket parked it at third after giving his best on the mound. Darrell would be facing their seven, eight and nine batters. He had a good defense behind him. All he had to do was throw strikes. Nothing for free. He struck out Holt and caught a pop fly off of Lewis who had reentered the game.

Big Nathan Scales had re-entered hoping to make some sort of contact. An act of desperation. Darrell recognized the danger and pitched very carefully to the big guy. The tying run was on base even though he was very slow and had only a slim chance of stealing on Owen. Keith was back up. He hit a ground ball down the first base line at Jimmy. Time seemed to stand still as Jimmy prepared himself to scoop up the ground ball. After what felt like an eternity he fielded that ball and stepped on first for the final out and the win. Darryl dropped on the mound as if he had been shot. Coach could see what that game meant to him and the others.

The more you learn the more you realize how little you know.

College Grove 5, Nolensville Red 6

Every Coach’s Dream, Chapter 16

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

Chapter 16: Post Season

Part 1: Game One In The Tournament – Rockvale

Youth looks to the future and old age looks to the past.

The league would finish with a tournament. The Red team would start with Rockvale and College Grove would compete against Nolensville Blue. The first two games would be played at Rockvale on Tuesday and the two winners and the two losers would play at College Grove on Saturday.

The first game of the tournament would be in Rockvale on Tuesday night. Pitching would be critical. Coach knew that they would see a lot of Jimmy McCrary. He was Rockvale’s best and had beaten College Grove three times during the regular season. Coach wanted to win the tournament and that is how he would play the games. The team wanted another shot at College Grove.

Jimmy McCrary’s first inning set the tone for the rest of the game. He threw nine straight strikes for three strikeout. Lajuane, Owen and Marty each in their own turn.

Coach took some criticism for starting Jimmy Johnson instead of Rocket but the plan was to win two games not one. The criticism came from Coach Bennett of College Grove. He did the same thing in his opening game.

Jimmy struck out their catcher J. Williams. Rockvale’s sure handed shortstop hit a single to right center spoiling Jimmy’s chance for a no hitter. M. Williams was starting at third and recorded Jimmy’s second strikeout. Chris Burns hit an infield fly that was collected by Marty at second.

Rocket was first up for the top of the second and popped up to first. Jimmy Johnson struck out and Darryl walked. Williams was having a hard time stopping McCrary’s pitches behind the plate and Darryl took two extra bases settling at third for Teddy Hannah’s at bat. He did make a connection but it was caught by McCrary for the third out.
Jimmy was pitching strong and struck out the five, six and seven batters to end the bottom of the second. Have a seat Jimmy McCrary, Paul Burns and Shockey.

Striking out did not make any difference in Jimmy McCrary’s pitching. If anything it may have inspired him. He got the next three batter out in order, Derek, Frank and Lajuane. Jimmy’s no hitter was still possible as he finished the top of the third inning.

Rockvale’s left fielder popped up to first and their right fielder M. Johnson and catcher J. Williams both struck out. Three innings were in the book.

Owen would lead off the top of the fourth with a single that would put a stop to Jimmy McCrary’s no hitter. Marty would follow Owen with his second strikeout but his at bat allowed Owen to steal second and third, putting him sixty feet from home. Rocket was being selective at the plate and found the pitch he wanted for an RBI single. He followed Owen’s lead and stole second and third while Jimmy was in the process of striking out. Darrell didn’t give Rocket an opportunity to steal home. His first three pitches were within the strike zone but Darrell couldn’t get his bat on the ball. The top of the fourth gave Nolensville Red the lead while leaving one runner on base.

Oakley hit a fly ball to Frank in left field for out number one. Jimmy did the rest of the work by striking out M. Williams and the ever dangerous Chris Burns.

McCrary started the fifth with new resolve. He struck out Teddy but gave Derek a hitable pitch that found its way to the third baseman. The throw beat Derek to the bag by half a step for the second out. Frank recorded his second strikeout of the game. Three up and three down for the third time.

McCrary hit Jimmy’s first pitch back to Lajuane at shortstop and he threw him out at first. Jimmy lost his concentration and walked the next two batters, Paul Burns and Shockey.

With runs at a premium, the Red team chose to prevent the lead runner from scoring. Morris stuck his bat out and put the ball in play. Darrell fielded it, tagged his base and sent it home but Shockey slid in under the tag. The game was tied. Potts, the number nine batter struck out to end the fifth with one runner left on base.

McCrary was working hard and wanted to win. He was giving it his best. The Red team was back to the top of their order to start the sixth. Lajuane struck out but Owen drew a walk and stole second. He was in scoring position and only needed a base hit to score and give his team the lead. The bats were there they just needed to get the job done. Marty and Rocket both struck out and left Owen stranded at second.

Jimmy had done his job and Coach replaced him on the mound with Rocket.

There are time when a person just scratches his head and wonders what is going on. Rockvale was at the top of their order for the bottom of the sixth. All they needed was a run to win. Rocket walked the first two batters. Coach didn’t wait, Rocket went to third, Jimmy went to first and Darrell took the mound. Coach hoped that the speed change would make a difference at the plate. M. Williams hit a fielder’s choice to shortstop and Lajuane threw to Jimmy at third, getting the lead runner, for the first out. Chris Burns was up with only one out recorded in the inning. Coach knew what he could do with his bat and called for an intentional walk. That loaded the bases and certainly puts extra pressure on the pitcher. Darrell was into the moment. Coach knew that he was excited but focused. He proceeded to strike out McCrary and Paul Burns to end the bottom of the sixth. Three runners were left on base.

Jimmy McCrary by rule was allowed to pitch the seventh inning because he was the starting pitcher. Coach didn’t think that he had pitched that much before and thought that he could be getting tired. Jimmy Johnson was first up and tipped his third strike back to the catcher for out number one. Darrell struck out for number two. Teddy walked on four straight pitches. Derek walked on four straight pitches. Teddy took advantage of his speed and stole second and third while Derek stole second. Teddy knew that he had the green light for home but only if it was a sure thing. There would be no signal just his intuition. While Frank was up, Teddy saw his chance. He was home before anyone on the field or in the stands knew what was happening. In fact, Coach had turned his back to the plate when Teddy took off. He turned back just in time to see Teddy slide in for the go-ahead run. Rockvale’s catcher didn’t have much of a chance.

Jimmy McCrary had thrown a two hitter and was now trailing in the game. He walked Frank and Lajuane to load the bases. Owen flied to third for the final out.
Darrell walked their first batter and he stole second. The tying run was on second with no outs. Everyone except the players felt the pressure. Darrell went to work. He wanted this victory because he loved to win. He struck out the next three batters and they were on their way to meeting College Grove one more time.

Rockvale had recorded one hit and Nolensville had recorded two hits. Jimmy McCrary’s parents would come to coach after the game and tell him that they were going to bring Jimmy to Nolensville to play for him the next season. Coach was flattered but told them he would be moving up with his son.

The real difference in a good coach and a bad coach is his players. Jimmy was a good pitcher and Coach suspected that his parents did take him to another community to play. Coach hoped that he did well wherever he went, but sometimes parents put to much stock into winning.

Youth looks to the future and old age looks to the past.

Nolensville Red 2, Rockvale 1

Every Coach’s Dream, Chapter 15

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

Chapter 15: League Game Twelve – Nolensville Blue

Life isn’t about saving, it’s about scattering.

Game twelve, against Nolensville Blue, was the final game of the regular season. Teddy would get his first start on the mound. Bryan Cummings would walk but decided to use his speed to steal second base. Owen made a perfect throw to Lajuane at second for the tag and out number one.

Sam Mosley would walk. Oh, those base on balls. Teddy was not giving his team the chance they needed to play defense. Lou Ray Grimes was hitting in the number three spot and didn’t want anything to do with a base on balls. Lou Ray and Teddy were buddies and each wanted to out do the other. On this particular occasion Lou Ray got the better of Teddy with a base hit that scored Sam. Nunn Arledge was batting in the clean up position but was satisfied with a walk. Coach had seen enough and made a pitching change.

Rocket took the rock but walked the first batter he faced. He then struck out Benjamin Holt for the second out. The bases were loaded for Adam Cook. His bat was struggling but he was more than capable of putting the ball out of the park. The story had gotten around about the towering homer he hit at College Grove. Rocket pitched Adam very carefully but the walk he gave up forced the runner at third home. Rocket struck out their eighth batter to end the top of the first. Three runners were left on base.

Bobby Stephenson, the Blue team coach, had a knack for getting the best out of his players. The Red team had won all four meetings between them and Bobby would love to get at least one win before the season was over. This would be his last chance.

Adam Cook would be facing the Red team tonight. Lajuane out waited Adam and drew a walk. Getting that lead off batter on base is always a boost. Owen was more aggressive at the plate and was looking for something that he could hit. Adam was throwing the ball around the plate but Owen was not able to straighten one out for a hit. After fouling two off, Adam won the battle with his first strike out of the inning. Marty hit the second pitch he saw for a base hit. The Red team had runners on the corners. Rocket was batting in the number four spot and he ripped the second pitch he saw into the outfield for a double that scored the speedy Marty Jones. They had tied the score. Jimmy Johnson was a bit more selective about the pitch he chased. He tagged a shot to right field for a single but thought he could get one more base out of it. Benjamin was playing right field and used his accurate arm to throw Jimmy out at second. His single did score Rocket from second and the Red team had the lead.

Darrell walked and Teddy flied out to center field. Coach Stephenson did a masterful job of placing his outfielders.

Rocket would face Michael Howell first at the top of the second. He accepted the challenge by striking him out and then striking out Bryan. Rocket celebrated by giving Sam a free pass. Lou Ray was hitting everything he saw. His single encouraged the third base coach to sent Sam home. Jimmy sent the ball home and Owen tagged a surprise Sam as he slid toward home plate. Three outs with one left on base.

Adam returned to the mound to face Derek Pack and Frank Ogilvie. He hit Derek and then walked Frank on four straight pitches. At this age it sometimes upsets the pitcher if he hit another player. That is especially true if they know each other. Coach Stephenson chose to put Bryan on the mound. Lajuane tripled in Derek and Frank, Owen doubled in Lajuane, Marty doubled in Owen, Rocket doubled in Marty and Jimmy singled in Rocket.

Bryan was throwing strikes but everyone was getting the bat on the ball. Darrell nailed a single, Jimmy singled, Teddy singled loading the bases. Derek hit into a fielder’s choice. The shortstop, Nunn Arledge, forced Jimmy out at home. Frank also hit into a fielder’s that forced Darrell out at home with a throw from the pitcher to the plate. The bases were still loaded when Lajuane made his second appearance to the plate. He popped his first pitch to Lou Ray at first base for the final out of the inning.

Coach was sure that Rocket was playing to his competition. Nunn got on base with an error and Vest walked on six pitches. Benjamin struck out and Adam walked. Rocket struck out the next batter on three pitches. Rocket was proving Coach’s suspicion. Michael walked and forced in a run. The bases were loaded for Bryan. He doubled to right field and scored all three runners on base. Bryan had speed and felt sure about turning that double into a triple. Teddy was covering right field and brought the ball home to prevent a run. Owen took advantage of the strong throw from Teddy with a throw to Jimmy on third for the tag on Bryan and the final out of the inning. The Blue team had pulled within three runs of the Red team.

Nunn would move to the mound for the bottom of the third. He got Owen on three pitches but Marty would single to center. Rocket would double to center and Jimmy would single to right and score Marty. Nunn would get Darrell on three strikes. Teddy got his second single of the game and scored Rocket. Derek flied out to first, finishing the inning.

Rocket would face Chris Wence to start the fourth. One strikeout. Lou Ray singled for the third time in the game. Nunn doubled but Lou Ray was held at third. Vest struck out and Benjamin walked. Adam was up with bases loaded. He could bring the game into reach with one swing of the bat. Rocket was more than up for the challenge and recorded the third strikeout of the inning, leaving all three base runners standing on the bags.

Nunn would come back for the bottom of the fourth. Brad Alexander would work a walk out of Nunn and steal second. Lajuane would walk and Owen would hit into a fielder’s choice that would force Brad out at third. Lajuane got picked off trying to steal second. Marty tripled Owen home and Rocket singled but get tagged going to second before Marty could score.

Jimmy needed defensive help to get through the fifth. He walked batter number eight and struck out Michael, batter number nine. Bryan’s single scored batter number eight, Jeremy Johnson. Chris walked. Lou Ray hit into a fielder’s choice to third that forced Bryan out. With two outs Nunn hit to second for the force out of Lou Ray.

Nolensville Blue 7, Nolensville Red 12

Bobby Stephenson: Coach Stephenson may have lost the battle but not the war. He would take advantage of many more seasons in which he would out score the Red team’s coach. If the victories were all counted between these two coaches you could almost count on Coach Stephenson leading in victories. Bobby had a heart attack several years ago that took his life. Even when death is expected it is unexpected. His leaving left a hole that will never be filled.

Life isn’t about saving, it’s about scattering.

Every Coach’s Dream, Chapter 14

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

Chapter 14: League Game Eleven – Rockvale

See the ball, hit the ball.

Game eleven would be in Rockvale on Friday. Nolensville Red would see Chris Burns again. Within five years Chris would lose his father to cancer. The community would miss Bud Burns. When he left, his value was understood.

Coach changed his lineup hoping that the move would motivate the boys. Chris got off to a good start for Rockvale. He struck out the lead off batter. However, he walked Owen, Marty and Rocket before hitting Darrell and walking Jimmy. All five of them would score. Teddy struck out on three pitches. He was in a rut but Coach would give him credit for his effort. Derek would single and score. Frank, Lajuane and Owen would walk. Frank would score on a passed ball by Rockvale’s catcher. Marty would hit into a fielder’s choice and Owen would be forced at second to end a night mare for Chris.

Rocket would take the mound for the Red team. His control was good but Rockvale went to the plate with confidence that Coach had not seen before. Maybe it was because they had beaten College Grove three of four times and the Red team had lost to College Grove three of four time in the regular part of the season. There is no substitute for confidence and it can be infectious. Williams would lead off with a double and Oakley would single. Both hits would be in the gaps in the outfield. Mike Williams would walk and Chris Burns would double as would Jimmy McCrary. The first four batters would score. Rocket’s control didn’t seem to be a problem because he struck out batters six, seven and eight to end the inning.

Rocket led off the second inning with a home run. Darrell grounded to third and was thrown out at first. Jimmy and Teddy struck out to end their at bat. The left fielder for Rockvale started their at bat with a double, another ball hit to a gap in the outfield. Jimmy Williams walked and Oakley’s triple found another gap in the outfield.

Coach had to stop the bleeding. Rocket clearly had seen better days. Darrell would take the rock and see what he could accomplish. Mike Williams would single but Chris would get on base with a fielder’s choice that forced Mike out at second. The pitching change helped. Darrell struck out Jimmy McCrary and Paul Burns to finish the inning. Rockvale’s first three batters scored to bring them within one run of the Red team.

Paul Burns would start the third inning by facing Derek. He hit the ball out in front of the plate but could not beat the catcher’s throw to first. Paul came back with strikeouts by Frank and Lajuane. This was the only inning that the Red team would not score.

Rockvale made the bottom of the third their most successful inning. Darrell struck out Shockey but hit Johnson. That brought the top of Rockvale’s order up. Jimmy Williams and Oakley tripled into gaps in the outfield. Darrell walked Mike Williams and Coach made another move. He had been working with Teddy and hoped that the pressure would not be to much for him. Teddy was another left hander and had a strong arm. He just needed experience. Rockvale had taken the lead by four runs. Their spirits were high. Rockvale was doing what they needed to do: see the ball, hit the ball.

Chris singled and Jimmy McCrary walked on six pitches. Paul Burns hit into a pitcher’s best friend, the double play. Owen picked up the ball that Paul hit out in front of the plate and threw to Marty covering second base for out two. Marty relayed the ball to first to complete the double play.

All the Red team needed was four runs to keep the game going. Character will show, win or lose.Paul was back after his excellent third inning. He got Owen to ground out to the second baseman for out number one. Marty would walk and Rocket would bring him home with his second home run of the game. They had half of the runs they needed to keep the game alive.

Darrell walked and Jimmy hit a home run to get the runs that the team needed. The game was tied. Teddy was feeling good about himself and halted a nine at bat strikeout streak. His single was a good start. Derek hit to the first baseman for out number two. While he was in the process of batting, Teddy was stealing bases. There were times when Coach wanted to give Teddy a big hug.

Brad Alexander had taken Frank’s place in the lineup and drew a walk. Teddy was carefully watching for a chance to break for home. Coach told him that he had to make the decision without being told. He had speed to burn and surprise was the secret ingredient. He saw his chance and took it. The Red team had the lead. Coach Burns made his move by bringing in Jimmy McCrary to pitch to Lajuane. He walked but not before Brad had advance to third. Runners were now on the corners with Owen getting his second bat of the inning. He had the dubious honor of making two outs in the same inning.

Rockvale came to bat needing one run to extend the game and two to win. They wanted it badly but the bottom of their order was up. The Red team needed strikes and Jimmy Johnson was that man. Jimmy was into the moment. Shockey was the seventh batter in the order and hit a ground ball back to Jimmy and he made the pickup and threw him out at first. The number eight batter was up and Jimmy knew that he would have to throw strikes. The count went to two and two and Jimmy blew the fifth pitch past Morris for out number two. Sometimes the third out is the hardest out to get.

Rockvale’s number nine batter was up. Potts was the batter and he was taking the place of Johnson. Potts had been a starter but had never hit the ball against the Red teams pitching. Jimmy’s first pitch was a strike but his second pitch was a ball. Jimmy was ready for the challenge because he knew that Potts could not hit his best stuff even if he tried. His next two pitches were strikes that ended the game and Rockvale’s chance at winning.

See the ball, hit the ball.

Nolensville Red 13, Rockvale 12