Long Day into Night

Yesterday was one of those days that I was not looking forward too.  It was going to have me on the go from 1:45 am till 10:30 p.m.  A solid 21 hour day smack-dab in the middle of the week.  As it turns out…….. it ended up being memorable.

Yes it was still a long day.  Nine hours at the Peacock, home for 45 minutes than another 8 hours at the ball fields.  OK, I know it’s not ditch-digging but it’s still a grind. 

I’ll pick it up after my regular job.  My JV team took the field against East Hampton, frankly our biggest rival.  I had no idea what to expect from them considering the day before my kids had a gawd awful practice and we hadn’t really played in 8 days.  As an old baseball saying goes ” you are only as good as your next day starting pitcher…”  luckily for us, he was good.  Perfect through four innings, he only gave up three runs over 6 2/3  and he went out and took a win 6-3.  Good at bats, clutch hitting and great fielding (no errors) carried the day.  Game ended at 6 then it was on to the varsity game which started at 7.   So it continues.

Again, playing our rival East Hampton, both teams came into the game in the same boat: desperately needing a win.  We were 1-5, they were 2-6.  Both teams are young but have promise.  The kids and coaches know each other so well because the two towns play together in the summer during the legion season.  We knew the game was going to be great, I never thought it’d be as great as it was.

It had everything you could want out of a game.  Drama, controversy, intensity, edge-of-your-seat excitement, good pitching, clutch hitting, timely defense and late-inning heroics.

Cut to the fourth inning, Hale-Ray down 4-2.  2 outs, bases loaded.  East Hampton kid hits a little flare to left, one run scores, runner on 2nd goes into score but slows up.  Runner on first gets thrown out at third.  Three outs.  2nd run doesn’t count, EH coach argues and gets ejected.  HR down 5-2, eventually gets down 6-2 heading into the 6th.  HR strings a bunch of hits together, helped by a few EH miscues and ties the game 6-6.  Top of 7th, two outs, EH runner on 2nd, their best hitter strikes out.  Great job by HR hurler who tied the game up the inning earlier.  Tied up, bottom 7, HR has their three best hitters up.  #2 hitter k’s.  One out.  #3 hitter walks.  #4 hitter deep fly to right, 2 outs.  #5 hitter singles to left, runner on first goes 1st to 3rd (great baserunning).  After the play, the EH 2nd baseman gets tossed for mouthing off to the ump (told ya, DRAMA.)  2 outs, runners on the corners, #6 hitter up.  He was our starting pitcher and struggled a bit on the mound and at the plate, but the great thing about sports is that one moment can make a game.  He worked the count to 2-2 then hit a little flare to short left-center.  EH left fielder runs and reaches up to make catch, ball hits off glove and falls harmlessly to the turf.  After a moment of “did he catch it or not” (FYI, I may be the only one who saw it and yes it did drop), GAME OVER!!!!!  Hale-Ray wins!!!!  We get to 2-5 on the year, which is still less than we expected but the team is slowly coming together. 

After a brief on-field celebration and a little post-game speech, it was time to head home. 

The time:  10:10.  If you are going the math at home, that’s 8+ hours on the diamond. 

Home by 10:15.

Asleep by 10:30.  More math, that’s a 20 hours and 45 minute day.

In the end I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Days like that are why I coach.  Moments like that can change the flow of a season.  Seeing kids do more than they thought they were capable of makes it all worth while.

Now, it’s nap time. I’m beat.

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2 Responses to “Long Day into Night”

  1. You should have been a sports reporter, I was at the varsity game and you nailed it.
    I for one thought it was over being down 4 before HR’s frame in the bottom of the sixth.
    They also scored 4 against Hyde in the sixth after being down 2.
    They are showing some heart!!
    As a side note, HR’s SS’s dive over the catcher was spectacular and the diving catch he made late in the game was huge!!!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason Hendry. Jason Hendry said: Long Day into Night: http://wp.me/pcVjp-q3 […]

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