The Hitting Zone - Chapter 184

Published at 19th of March 2019 01:28:11 PM
Chapter 184

Bottom of the fourth started with Sunset's number two batter who popped out foul in the first inning . This at bat, he made Garret work and throw strikes by fouling off what was close and letting balls pass . With a 3-2 count he sent a line drive right up the middle . Both Noah and I were too short and too far away to make a play for it . Zeke was running in to field it, so Noah jogged out to be the cutoff man, and I covered second base right behind him . In the corner of my eye I could see the batter rounding first and running as fast as he could to me .

Zeke caught the ball on the hop and threw a bullet to the infield, bypassing Noah, and aimed straight for me . I caught the ball with my glove and swung my arm to try and tag the player who had already started to slide into the bag .

"Safe!" An infield umpire declared .

I sighed, disappointed . I threw the ball to Garret on the mound as the runner stood up and brushed himself off . He looked at me with a smirk across his face, "Still a kid with kid moves . "

I frowned, not understanding . I looked over to see what Noah thought . Noah rolled his eyes and shook his head, so I took it as not to care . This must be another attempt to 'get inside my head' like Noah said during my at bat . Zeke said I shouldn't get distracted by the other team and to focus on the game itself . I rolled my shoulders back and found my spot, trying to stay loose .

Garret's next showdown came against the guy who had hit the home run . Garret didn't look put down from giving up the double, but looked more motivated to get this next out . He started off with a couple of cut-fastballs, his specialty, and drove the batter to an 0-2 count . The batter was able to attack the first fastball that came his way, and the runner on second took off . A hit-and-run .

The hit was a fast grounder to Noah . He grabbed the ball, barehanded, and threw the ball to Chris at third . Chris tagged the runner before he even . Got a chance to slide .


The runner looked as stunned as I felt . Noah took a chance and threw to third for the potential out instead of getting the for sure out at first base . Why? I rubbed my forehead to calm the headache I could feel coming on .

"One out! Runner on first! Play at second on first!" Noah hollered out for the team to hear . Some of the guys mimicked him .

Garret stared at him for a moment as if he had something to say, yet he just turned back to Jordan and got back to pitching . He sent their cleanup hitter, the one I knew, down with just three pitches, looking more dominant than ever .

He continued throwing strikes to the next batter . Unluckily, he connected and sent a grounder between me and Julian . Julian was trying to hold the runner at first so he was too close to the bag and couldn't help . I dove in the dirt, but came up empty-handed . Sean came in and fielded the ball back to the infield, only allowing a single and letting the runner advance to second . Two on, two outs . I knocked some of the dirt off of me, feeling even more down on the way I keep coming up short in everything I do .

Garret waved Jordan to the mound and he complied . They had a brief discussion and then Jordan went back to his spot behind the plate . Whatever was said was effective, since Garret was able to strike out the next batter without any problems . End of the fourth, still 2-1, thankfully .

Top of the fifth would start with Sean, Julian, and Chris like the second inning . This time I didn't mention any negative comments as I put on my helmet and grabbed my bat . I wanted a chance to redeem myself sooner rather than later .

Noah sat down beside our bags, but he tended up after looking over my head . I turned to see Zeke standing tall, arms crossed over his chest . If Zeke was usually described as expressionless and stone-faced, then right now he was anything but . He radiated anger and the frown on his face was deep .

I worriedly looked at Noah to see what was up .

Noah shrugged, faking nonchalance . "I didn't do anything wrong so I don't know why you're looking at me like that . "

"20 laps . " Zeke spun on his heel and walked over to Garret and Jordan .

"What was that about?" I whispered .

Noah rubbed his nose . "It may have something to do with my fielding choices . Don't worry about it . " He nodded at the field . "Sean just struck out, looking . You're in the hole . Don't let that catcher get to you this time . Just block him out . He's irrelevant . "

I took his advice and moved to the dugout entrance . Chris moved to the on deck circle and Julian stepped up to bat . Julian had a powerful hit at his first at bat, where the center fielder had to go to the warning track to catch it . I noticed the outfielders backing up, expecting another long one . I gripped my bat, excitedly, looking at the extra gap they had left between them and the infield . That's where I would aim to hit!

Julian had other ideas though . He was swinging for the fences from the get-go . He fouled off the first pitch sending it just left of the third baseline, going over the little fence . Just a couple more feet over and that would have been a home run . That didn't discourage him though, if anything it gave him more confidence . The next pitch looked to be a low ball, but Julian swung anyways, almost imitating a golf swing and sent the ball in the same direction as his foul . However, this time it stayed fair . The left fielder chased it down and jumped to make an attempt, but the ball was blasted on out . A home run . 3-1!

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