The Red Barons opened their season on Saturday to a pretty crazy start. After trailing 3-1 in game one, they rallied to take the lead 4-3. My son (aka “Five O”) was in the middle of the comeback with single and run scored that represented the tying run. As they entered the bottom of the 6th clinging to a one run lead, the coach handed him the ball to close out the win. With temps that were in the 90’s all day and 2 innings at catcher, I was a tad nervous for him. I should also pause here and say that he has had a difficult spring. His pitching hasn’t reached the consistency or velocity of last summer. His bat has also been pretty quiet. That all changed on Saturday.
He promptly closed the door on game one to earn a save. He would end that game 2-2 with a walk as well.
Game two got ugly in a hurry. Before we all knew it, the Red Barons were down 10-3 and struggling to get out of the 3rd inning. With only one out, the coach called timeout and called for “Five O” to come in relief. Again, temps in the 90’s you just never know how it’s going to go. As he was running in from right field, I heard the opposing teams bench yell “this guy can’t throw strikes”. To be honest, when he pitched against them earlier in the spring, he did struggle quite a bit. Not Saturday….
When the dust cleared, “Five O” struck out 7 of the 9 batters he faced, including 2 of the final three to end the game. While the pitching was so good to see, he also hit a huge triple that brought the Red Barons back to within one run. They would eventually tack on 6 more runs and win the game 15-11. He held the opposing team to only one run (which was the result of his only walk) the final 2 2/3 innings. Between the two games he earned a save and a win. Incredible day. Incredible line.
I need to say that I am absolutely celebrating this day for “Five O”. I also know that there are days ahead which will be rough. This Friday, for example, will be a tough test against two very talented 12 year old teams. I’m most proud that he has continued to work to find his groove. Based on what we saw this weekend, I think he might have found it. If it was just a blip on the radar, I know he’ll keep working to find it again. Proud of you “Five O”. Not because of what you do between the white lines, but who you are. Never stop reaching. God’s got his hand on you son.