Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Underdog

Jacob's AAA-Minor Angels played a double header today. The first game was player pitching, while the second used the pitching machine.

As one who is familiar with baseball might expect, there is a big difference in the games when the players pitch. In the player pitch games, there are a lot fewer runs and hits, and a lot more strike outs and walks. Because of the strikeouts and walks, the games tend to run a bit long so there is actually a time limit.

The Angels lost the machine pitch game 10-8. They were up 6-1 at one point, but couldn't hold the lead.

The more exciting and interesting game was the player pitch game against the first place Dodgers. Going into the final inning, the Angels were up 5-1, due in no small part to one player's four RBI from two doubles.

The great part was that the boy just started playing baseball this year. He is a sixth grader and the oldest and tallest boy on the team. While he is large, he is not the most athletic kid. At the beginning of the year, he couldn't hit the ball at all. He's gotten gradually better, which is great because he is such a nice kid. So when the better hitters on the team were struggling to hit the ball, it was great to see him step up and really deliver for the team.

The Angel's pitching, which was excellent in the first five innings, struggled in the final inning. They walked eight straight batters and gave up six runs in top of the sixth, and entered the final frame trailing. The time had expired during the top of the 6th, but the Angels still had a last chance to bat.

The lead off hitter singled. Jacob, 0-1 up to this point, crushed a pitch for a double to center field. Two batters later, Jacob scored the tying run. They then called the game due to time. It was great to see the kids battle back from adversity and not give up. I was a bit worried that after giving up the lead to all the walks, that they might fold, but they didn't.


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