Today was quite a day for Sean’s baseball team. First off, the game was rather early compared to the rest of the season. It was at 10:00 am but in the tiny town of El Frieda, which is about 90 minutes away from us. It was a good thing it was early because its starting to heat up here in Arizona.
Sean’s team if off to a great start this year. This have been dominate in every game of the year except for their first game of the season which they lost. Since then they had run off 8 straight victories giving them an 8-1 record heading into todays game.
The El Frieda team they were playing hadn’t one a game yet all season. With a big game on Monday against another strong team in the league, Coach Ed decided to sit his best pitchers and start a kid that had never pitched before in a game this season but actually can pitch, at least in practice.
The move backfired as he pretty much walked in three runs in the second inning. We switched pitchers to one of our second tier pitchers who again walked in three more runs in the the third inning. We were forced to counter with our 2nd best pitcher to keep the game in reach.
The pitching really wasn’t the issue though. These kids have been dominate hitters all season long. Today they couldn’t hit anything. The El Frieda pitcher threw the ball slower than just about anyone I have seen in a long time, but he threw strikes. Our kids just couldn’t get the timing down of his speed. Many times they had their swing complete before the ball even reached the plate. Sean was one of only three hits in the first three innings. Luckily, two of those hits were home runs.
Still we were down 6 – 2 at the end of three innings. Our pitcher was able to hold the score, but our kids just couldn’t get on track with the bats. At this age, the kids play six innings in a game. By midway through the fifth inning, the El Frieda pitcher was clearly out of gas and had to be replaced. The new pitcher threw harder but was all over the place. Our boys were still chasing the ball all over the place. Three batters in a row, the coach told kids not to swing until they had one strike. All three swung at the first pitch.
With our poor batting, we entered the sixth inning still down 6 – 2. Finally, the kids started watching the wild pitcher, got a few walks and a few hits in the sixth and final inning. We scored a couple of runs to make it close at 6 – 4 but had two strike outs in a row to make things look bleak. Sean singled to left and the next two kids walked to load the bases with two outs. The next kid up cleared the bases with a grand slam home run. By some small miracle, the boys were now up 8 – 6.
We went into the bottom of the sixth and final inning now with a small lead. The leadoff batter for El Frieda tripled to right – not a good start. The pitcher struck out the next batter for the first out. The next kid grounded to short and the shortstop smartly let the run score and threw out the runner at first – one more out to go. Three more strikes and the kids had somehow snuck a way with a victory in a game that they had played poorly in.
Now sporting a 9-1 record, and our best pitcher ready to go, we head into a big game on Monday up in Wilcox. Yes, another 90 minutes away from home.