As I sat in the mosquito-infested grass at out-of-town diamond number 2, I noticed the nerves, the shaking, and the sweat across our kids brows. I said a silent prayer as I watched the team warm up.
I talked to each of the parents, who uttered the same words, “he was so nervous all day!” And it showed during warm-ups.
A few minutes before the game, I scoped out the opposition. My heart sank a bit when I saw the skill and natural talent that we were up against. Not only were those hometown kids bigger than ours, they had their catching and throwing arms ready.
Now I was nervous.
We started at bat and, holy crap, our kids were on the bats! Our first batter, Maddex, hit a single. Then he stole second and third without another hit being made. A second hit by Ethan would land him at second base and bring our first batter home. With still no outs, our third batter, Danon, hit a double and brought in another run to give us a nice 2-0 cushion to take us into the middle of the first inning after three strikeouts.
Our first pitcher, Danon, took the mound and threw a few warm-ups. The look on the other teams faces were priceless. Disbelief and fear intimidated them as the first batter seemed shaken while he stepped into the box. We held off team GL in the bottom of the first because Danon brought the heat. With three quick strike outs and no one on base, our kids were on the bats again to start the second inning.
I guess a 2-0 lead wasn’t enough for our kids as they belted the ball into every possible hole and brought in run after run. My son, the second smallest kid on the team, got a single and brought home one of those runs. (Enter proud baseball mom moment here!) Later on, he was brought home as the other team fumbled over the ball in the outfield. The score was a comfortable 5-0 after the second inning.
In the third inning, the opposition struck back. With our new pitcher on the mound, Hudson’s nerves set in and he gave away a few hits. But the rest of our defence helped him out by letting in only two runs. It was 5-2 for us going into the fourth inning.
My son was handed a third-out strikeout near the end of the game, but he quickly shook it off. With two more runs throughout the rest of the game, the score ended in a 7-2 first-game win. There was a lot of excitement from both teams as they high-fived each other at home plate after the game. I think everyone had a good time that night – including the family and friends in attendance.
Half a bottle of bug spray and a full bag of Spitz later, happy parents and happy kids packed up, hit the convenience store, and grabbed some munchies for the ride home. While at the convenience store, MM bumped into a friend from the oilfield. His son was playing against our team and I distinctly heard the dad say to MM, “that was a fun game and I’d be happy to play against your team all season long.”
Good sportsmanship goes a long way. Thank you, GL, for your hospitality and your friendly demeanour. We had a great time. We look forward to seeing you again next month on our diamond!