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Old 05-28-2019, 03:58 PM   #21
abell1198
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Monday, April 11, 1994

Our recent success has powered us to #5 in the most current power rankings for 2A. The kids are hyped about it, and I’m doing my best to keep them grounded. I think I’m failing, probably because I’m just as excited as they are. We’re traveling an hour and a half to south central Missouri to play the Hollister Tigers. Hollister is currently 6-7 and tied for sixth in District 9. John Daves is on the mound for us tonight. He’s 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA in four starts so far this season. Hollister has a nice group of fans in the park today, with 97 people in attendance. Given, about a third are some of our fans who made the drive to support us, which is always good for boosting the guy’s confidence. We don’t do much in the 1st inning. In the bottom half of the inning, with one out and three pitches into his outing, Daves gives up a solo shot to left field to put us in a 1-0 hole. Fortunately, that’s all the damage we sustain. Samir Shivers leads off the top of the 2nd with his first home run of the season on a line drive which got out of the park in a hurry. We get a walk, but nothing else, so the game is tied 1-1. Hollister gets a leadoff double against Daves to start the 2nd, but John collects himself well and gets us out of the inning without letting a run cross the plate. The 3rd and 4th innings pass with a few base hits, but nothing else. In the top of the 5th, Shivers cranks his second homer of the game, a three-run shot to left center, to break the tie and give us our first lead of the game. Leading 4-1 after five, we score again in the 6th from the unlikely of sources. Catcher Billy Hill, who has struggled mightily at the plate this year, takes a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall for a home run!! Later in the inning, with two outs and two runners on, Shivers hits his third homer of the game!!! Another 3-run shot, this one to left. Sporting an 8-1 lead, I pull Daves he allows a double with two outs in the bottom of the 6th. I bring in Bill Sams, who gives up a base hit to the Tigers, scoring a run. After six, we lead 8-2. The guys start off the 7th hitting the cover off the ball. The first two batters hit a single and double. A sac fly scores one. Second baseman Melvin Campa follows up with a two-run home run to left!! We now lead 11-2! Sams pitches the 7th, Mike Biggerstaff throws the 8th, and I let Justin Schmitt close out the game in the 9th. We cruise the rest of the way and win it 11-2. Our win streak is now at six straight!! We’re now 10-4, and upon getting back home, find out Pierce City lost again, giving us sole possession of first place in the district!! And with district play right around the corner, it’s time to build our lead and continue our winning streak.

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In Major League news, Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets tossed a 4-0 shutout against the Chicago Cubs. Gooden had 10 K’s and allowed only one walk. Paul Molitor of the Toronto Blue Jays collected hit #2500 in a 7-5 win over the Oakland Athletics.

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Old 05-29-2019, 05:07 PM   #22
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Tuesday, April 12, 1994

Today we travel to Belle, about 2 ½ hours away. The guys are pretty relaxed and confident. I’m doing my best to keep them grounded and not get overconfident. The last thing I need these guys to do is to underestimate an opponent and lose a game we should win. The Belle Tigers are 5-9 this season and are in 7th place in District 4. They’re in a slump, losing their last six games. Brian Leonard is on the hill for us today. He’s 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA this year. There are 49 fans in the stands for this game. We start out the 1st weakly, flying out three times and wasting the chance to score a runner who reached on an error. Leonard gives up a couple of base hits in the bottom of the 1st, and Belle scores a run to take the early lead. Our bats are cold as the innings progress. Too many flyouts, as far as I’m concerned. In the 4th inning, Brian gives up a solo shot to right to put us in a 2-0 hole. Belle scores again in the 5th behind an RBI single to increase their lead to 3-0. I pull Leonard after five innings and get the bullpen into the game to shut the Tigers down. Unfortunately for us, we just couldn’t figure out Belle’s starter, lefty Joe Casavant. He goes the distance against us and pitches a NO-HITTER. Yes, you read that right. We were the victims of a no-no. Talk about crashing down to Earth!! The 3-0 loss drops us to 10-5 and into a three-way tie for first place in our district. The bus drive is pretty quiet going home. It will be interesting to see how the guys rebound from this.

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Old 05-29-2019, 09:25 PM   #23
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Excellent story so far, I have enjoyed reading it.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:44 PM   #24
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Great writing. You need to create some back story about the players.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:39 PM   #25
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Wednesday, April 13, 1994

It’s our day off, and instead of running fielding and hitting drills, I pulled the guys into the locker room for a meeting. It was suggested to me by a fellow coach that I needed to be a coach to these guys, not their buddy. The coach was Frank Pitman, my old high school football and track coach. He was still coaching both sports when I came back and took over the baseball coaching duties. I have a lot of respect for the man, so I listened to every word he said. “It’s time to step up and be an adult,” he stated. “You aren’t in high school anymore, Allan, and you aren’t their friend. You’re their coach, their mentor, and to some, their father figure. You need to guide your players to grow from the kids they are now to the men you know they can be.” It was a reality check for me. This whole time, I’ve been the players’ buddy and not their mentor. Well, little did they know, things were about to change.

“What happened out on the field yesterday?” I asked the group. The thirty seconds of quiet felt like hours, as no one said a word. The silence was finally broken by Darius Turner, one of the young leaders of our team. “We got embarrassed,” Darius said. “Yes,” I agreed, “WE got embarrassed. The question I have for you, gentlemen, is what are you going to do about it?”

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Even though he's only a freshman, I appreciate Darius’ ability to lead. Darius hadn’t even pitched in the game, yet he still used the term “we”. A true team player! He is one of five black players on the team, which is uncommon for a town our size. Bill Sams, Rob Henderson, Chris Gause, and Melvin Campo are the others. When I was in school, there were only a couple of minority students. But that number is growing, as families in larger cities were relocating to small towns, looking to start a new life. Darius had moved to Sarcoxie in the fall of 1989 from the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield. Darius’ father moved the family after taking a new job as a manager at the local shoe manufacturing plant, turning around a business on the verge of closing down. It took a small bit of adjustment for the local kids, as well as for Darius, but once everyone got to know Darius’ personality, he was accepted as a local. He's a popular student and a gifted athlete. As a 15-year-old freshman, Darius stands 6’1” and 165 pounds. He’s a hard-throwing lefty and has done a good job so far this year as our closer, appearing in five games and recording two saves. I’ve clocked him throwing anywhere from 92-94 miles per hour. Right now Darius only has two pitches, a fastball, and a slider. I’m hoping to work with him more to develop a third pitch, so he can mix things up more when he’s on the mound.

My speech to the team continued, “I want you guys to sit and think long and hard about what you’re going to do from this point on. I don’t want to see any finger pointing or blaming! I don’t want to hear a negative word from anyone on this team! What I do want is for you guys to regain your focus and NEVER underestimate another team ever again!” And with that, "practice" was over. We have another game tomorrow and I need these guys to get their heads screwed on straight by game time. As Yogi Berra said, "90 percent of the game is half mental."
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:24 AM   #26
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Thursday, April 14, 1994

The rest of our schedule is only against district opponents, although today’s game isn’t officially a district game. We’re traveling to Lamar, a short 45-minute drive north. The Lamar Tigers are 4-11 this season and in last place in our district. If there is a team I would want to play following a no-hitter, it would be a last place team. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to learn not to underestimate an opponent than to face another team with a losing record after a crushing defeat. Doug Parlier is starting the game. He’s 4-0, with a 2.40 ERA.

I can’t speak highly enough about Doug. He’s a great athlete who does what’s asked of him. Doug has grown up in Sarcoxie, the son of one of our local farming families. Doug stands 6’3” tall and weighs about 190 lbs. He’s as tall as his father, but he hasn’t filled out yet like his old man. Cecil Parlier is a hulk of a man and quiet. Says what needs to be said, and nothing more. Doug is a lot like his dad and says “Yes sir” and “No sir” to me like clockwork. I’m still trying to get used to that “sir” thing. I’m not sure I’m old enough to be called “sir.” Doug is the ace of our staff. He throws four pitches, a fastball, cutter, changeup, and a forkball. The kid throws in the mid-’90s. I’m not sure if Doug would make it to the Majors, but he could definitely be a decent college pitcher. He’s got the best chance, I’d say, of anyone on the team. I’ve asked him about his nickname, “The Bull” and he just smiles at me. I’ve heard rumors, anything from taking on a bull on his farm to being a bull in a china shop. Maybe one day I’ll get to the truth.

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There are 64 people in the stands, with a number from our school who made the short trip to support the guys. Rain is in the forecast, and I’m hoping it will hold off long enough for us to play the game. I decided to shuffle the lineup a little, trying to shake things up. The team breaks out of their hitting slump in the 1st inning when John Graham hit a two-run homer to right to give us an early 2-0 lead. Parlier starts out strong and we hold our lead through the first three innings. In the 4th inning, Kevin Dominy, who got the start today at third, cranked a three-run shot to left to push our lead out to 5-0! We continue to hit well in the 5th, smashing four hits and scoring three more runs to increase our lead to 8-0. The rain came down in the top of the 6th and lasted just over half an hour. Our bats didn’t cool off, as Graham hits a two-run double down the right-field line to make it 10-0!! Against my better judgment, I let Parlier continue pitching, but I’m concerned about the rain delay affecting his pitching. Doug strikes out the first batter, but then walks one and allows a double. I bring in Jeremy Williams to get us out of this. A groundout scores a run for the Tigers. Williams then gives up a two-run homer to cut our lead down to 10-3. Williams gets us through the 7th, and I bring in Justin Schmitt for the 8th. He’s been outplaying his ability all year, but he’s done well when he’s been playing. Our defense fails him, as we commit an error and give up a passed ball. Two runs score in the inning, neither earned, and the score is 10-5 after eight. Graham, however, has found his stroke and hits a solo shot to right in the 9th. Mike Biggerstaff comes in for us and shuts Lamar down in the 9th, as we win the game by a score of 11-5. Our record is now also 11-5, and with the win, we reclaim sole possession of 1st place in our district!!

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Old 06-08-2019, 05:35 PM   #27
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Friday, April 15, 1994

We open up official district play at home against Southwest. We played the Trojans on March 28th and lost the game at home 4-1. They are 6-10 on the season and are in 7th place in the district. John Daves gets the start today. He’s 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA.

John Daves is an undersized pitcher, standing 5’8”, at 150 lbs. soaking wet. I start him because he can throw four different pitches and really mix batters up. But his stamina is more on par with a middle to long relief pitcher. He can get his pitches up into the mid to upper 80’s, but he has a tendency to leave the ball up, which leads to a lot of fly outs. I don’t want to talk poorly of anyone on my team, but Daves isn’t real bright and he’s a bit on the lazy side. He has some idea in his head he can play in the Majors someday and keeps talking to his teammates about the big contract he’s going to have. I try to keep his perspective in line with reality, but the fact is, the kid is a dreamer. I kind of relate to the kid, but I’m afraid real life is going to be a rude awakening for John down the road. He is the second oldest of four kids in a family with a single mom. Dad isn’t anywhere to be found and I can’t seem to get Daves to talk about him much. The one time I got him to talk about his father, he said, “He left us all a few years ago. I don’t ever see him, and I don’t want to. He doesn’t ever call or show up when he’s supposed to have us on his weekends.” Seeing as how my own father was fairly uninvolved, as he lived in another state, I understand where he’s coming from, to a point. Talent-wise, I’m afraid the best he’ll do is play college ball or spend some time in the minors. Regardless, he’s having a pretty decent year for us.

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Daves didn’t start against Southwest the first time we faced them, so I’m hoping we stand a better chance today. Plus, we’re hitting much better now than early in the season. We’ve got 84 fans in the seats to cheer us on. Daves records two quick outs, and a fly ball to right should have been the third, but John Graham dropped the ball for a two-base error. Southwest followed it up with a run-scoring double and we’re down 1-0 in the 1st. Our hitting finally comes around in the 2nd inning. Samir Shivers gets on base thanks to a hit by pitch. It’s his 5th plunking of the year. We follow up with two base hits, scoring Shivers and tying the game at 1-1. The Trojans take back the lead in the 3rd with an RBI single to left, putting us back down 2-1. Shivers comes through for us in the 4th, as he leads the inning off with a home run to left to even the game up once more. DH Mike Notheis draws a walk and steals second. He’s able to advance to third on a fly out. He comes home on a grounder to short with two outs, but the Southwest shortstop throws the ball over the head of the first baseman for an error!! We take the lead 3-2!! Daves continues to pitch well, although he’s helped out by some great infield defense. I pull him after six innings and bring in Bill Sams. He makes me second guess my decision by walking the leadoff batter in the 7th. He gets out of the inning, but then walks the leadoff guy in the 8th as well! We come out of the inning without any damage done, though. We can’t seem to get any insurance runs, so I bring in Danny Worley to pitch the 9th. He sits the Trojans down in order, striking out the final hitter to save the game. We win the game 3-2, and our win-loss mark is now 12-5. Our lead is now at two games in the district thanks to other teams losing tonight.

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Old 06-10-2019, 03:45 PM   #28
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Monday, April 18, 1994

Yesterday, when reading the Sunday paper, I discover that Atlanta pitcher Tom Glavine will be out six months with a ruptured bicep tendon. The Braves are good, but I’m not sure how that’s going to pan out for them with Glavine gone for the rest of the regular season. Maybe he comes back for the playoffs, but I wouldn’t count on it. The Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers got into a bench-clearing brawl as well. This morning, I read that left fielder Chili Davis of the California Angels was named AL Player of the Week. Third baseman Bobby Bonilla of the New York Mets won the award in the National League. The latest power poll came out as well in the Major Leagues. It doesn’t really surprise me, as Atlanta and the Toronto Blue Jays are at the top of the list.

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I’m happy to have Josh Quinn return from his injury. His bat and speed will definitely help the lineup perform even better than it has. Josh is only a freshman, but he’s a heck of a ballplayer. He plays third base for us, using his speed to provide decent range on the hot corner. Josh is small, 5’8” 155 lbs and a fairly typical 14-year-old boy. He’s smart and can adapt to any situation, but his work ethic could use some work. He’s the type of person where things have come easily for him, so he doesn’t know how to work hard to achieve something. The biggest problem he has off the field is he’s a follower, not a leader. Josh has grown up here and is an only child. His father works at a local lumber mill, while mom is the secretary to the town attorney. Josh’s nickname is “Bucket”, which he got because he was always toting around a small sand bucket around. Some kids have blankets or teddy bears. Josh had a bucket.

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Today we play at home against the College Heights Christian Cougars. The Cougars are two games back in the district at 10-7, tied with three other teams for second place. So, needless to say, this game would be a big one to win or lose. I’m disappointed for the turnout of today’s game. There are only 41 people in the bleachers. Brian Leonard is on the mound for me. On the year, Leonard is 2-2 with a 5.13 ERA. It’s evident when Brian takes the mound that today is not going to be one of his better days. After getting my hopes up with a first batter strikeout, Leonard follows up with a walk, single, RBI double, RBI single and an RBI sac fly. After a half inning, we’re down 3-0. Fortunately, my guys respond with their bats in the bottom half of the 1st. Two singles and two walks lead to two runs scored, so we only trail by one after the 1st inning. Leonard sends the Cougars down in order in the 2nd, much to my surprise. We get three more base hits and two more runs in the bottom of the 2nd to take the lead 4-3. But in the 3rd, Leonard fills the bases with two outs. An RBI single and wild pitch later, we find ourselves trailing again by one. Brian is having a rough day, allowing two more hits and hitting a batter in the 4th, but we manage to escape thanks to a double play and ground out. I pull him after four innings because I don’t want to get into a deeper hole. I bring Bill Sams into the game in the 5th, as our bats have fallen silent and I need the game to stay close. He does the job through 1 ⅓ but leaves with an injury. I bring in one of my long relievers, Jeremy Williams, because I don’t know whether this game will go into extras and I need to stretch my bullpen. Josh Quinn leads off the 7th for us with a base hit into left field. He steals second but finds himself still there two outs later. After walking Samir Shivers, the Cougars’ pitcher hits my next two batters, walking in a run and tying the game! Whatever! I’ll take it!! Williams does the job for us on the mound and, with his pitch count climbing, I bring in Danny Worley to shut down the 9th and prepare us for extra innings if need be. Danny gives up a couple of base hits, and there are runners on the corners with one out. The next Christian Heights batter hits a fly ball to left center. “Great!”, I think to myself, as I see the ball fly into the outfield, “Here comes the sac fly and we’re down by one again.” Left fielder Blake McManus catches the ball for the out. The runner from third takes off for home and McManus guns the ball to the plate. It’s right on the money and the runner is OUT!!! Wow!! I can’t believe it!! With the game still tied and momentum on our side, the guys respond. Well, and the Cougars implode. Melvin Campa leads off the 9th by grounding to short, but the new shortstop who came into the game throws the ball over the first baseman’s head for an error! Chris Gause strikes out, while Samir Shivers is intentionally walked. John Graham legs out an infield single to load the bases and bring up Jon Stevens. Stevens takes the first pitch he sees and sends it screaming down the right-field line for a walk-off win!!! We take the game 6-5 and improve to 13-5 on the season!!!

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Old 06-12-2019, 04:56 PM   #29
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Tuesday, April 19, 1994

I found out today that Bill Sams will be out with a stiff back. It seems he is going to be day-to-day for the next week or two. Sams is a freshman, whose nickname is “Ping”. He spent the early years of his life in the St. Louis suburb of Concord and got his nickname from his dad due to his overactive nature as a young boy. His family moved to Sarcoxie a couple of years ago, wanting a change of scenery from the big city life. Sams’ father, Robert., is a mechanic and opened up a shop just off the square. The square is the business district, so to speak, of the town. Robert. was well received, as the local mechanic had retired just prior to the Sams family moving to town. Sams is a freshman and can be described as a bright kid who is a follower, but smart enough not to hang out with the wrong crowd. Sams stands 6’1” and weighs in at 165 lbs. He throws four pitches, a fastball, curveball, changeup, and a splitter. His fastball is in the low-to-mid 90’s and his control is above average for a high school pitcher. If he continues with his development, I think he can be a decent college or minor league pitcher.

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Today we have a home game against the Purdy Eagles. The Eagles are 11-7 and in sole possession of second place in the district, two games behind us. A win today would give us a great cushion in the district. Funny story….some of my mom’s ancestors lived in Purdy and while doing some work on our family tree, I noticed the U.S. Census had the town of “Pretty, Missouri” listed next to an ancestors name. Apparently, the census taker thought this person had a severe country drawl or accent, mistaking Purdy for Pretty. Guess they weren’t from around these parts! Ha!

Anyway, I’m happy to have Doug Parlier back on the mound for me today. When he pitches, I’m less stressed and know we are generally going to be in the game. Parlier is 5-0, with a 2.55 ERA this year. Purdy was predicted to finish just a game below us in the preseason, so I’m sure they’ll be competitive. We bring in a three-game winning streak, while the Eagles have won their last five in a row! Only 54 people make it out to the game. Disappointing to say the least!!

Doug comes out looking good. He allows a double but keeps it off the board. Josh Quinn leads off the bottom of the 1st with a base hit. One out later, Chris Gause doubles Quinn over to third. Samir Shivers works the count full, then smashes the ball over the right-center field fence for a three-run home run!!! After Parlier holds down the top of the 2nd, we continue to swing the bat well in the bottom half of the inning. Catcher Billy Hill, who isn’t known for his bat, gets himself a single, then advances on an error by the Purdy center fielder. Quinn then gets on base when the Eagle left fielder drops a fly ball. Chris Gause subsequently delivers a base hit to right, scoring both runners to put us up 5-0!! In the 3rd inning, Blake McManus strokes an RBI double to put us up 6-0. Parlier is dominating the Purdy lineup and has allowed only one hit through five innings. I decide to let him pitch the 6th and then move to the bullpen. Unfortunately for me, he doesn’t make it. After recording his fifth strikeout for the first out of the 6th, Doug goes down in pain. He comes out with a strained back. Jim Gillespie comes in to pitch for us and does a fine job. The guys respond in kind in the bottom half of the inning with Quinn and Gause hitting solo shots, plus a 2-run shot by John Graham. At the end of the 6th, we’re up 10-0! Gillespie pitches us through the 7th, so I decide to finish the game out with Bill Mills in the 8th and closer Darius Turner in the 9th. Mills comes out flat, giving up five hits and four runs before recording an out. But after getting a fly out, Mills gets a K and ground out to escape the inning. Turner is flawless in the 9th, and we win the game 10-4. Our record improves to 14-5 and we currently hold a three-game advantage in the district!!

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As I watch the news later on in the evening, I see Andres Gallaragas had a great day at the plate, going 6 for 6 in the Colorado Rockies 11-10 victory (10 innings) over the Florida Marlins at Mile High Park. Gallaragas told the reporter, “Well, that was fun.” He hit four singles and two home runs on the night, with five RBI. His second homer was the walk-off winner for Colorado.

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Old 06-14-2019, 05:25 PM   #30
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Thursday, April 21, 1994

Chris Gause is our first baseman. He was in a bit of a slump before the last game. Gause entered the game hitting .258, but after his 3 for 4 performance against Purdy, he finished the game with an average of .286. Chris came to Sarcoxie from Kansas City three years ago. His father is a preacher and opened up a small Baptist church just outside of town. Chris’ family was in a not-so-good part of Kansas City and his father, Gerald, wanted Chris and his siblings to have a better, more peaceful upbringing away from the streets of The Paseo. Chris is a big kid, stands 6’3” and comes in at 215. He’s a hell of a running back for the football team and can hoop with the best of them on the basketball court. Chris approaches the game of baseball like everything else in his life...cool, slow, and methodical. He’s an average student, but very smart. He’s a good hitter, much better than his current stats. His range on the field needs some improvement, though. Chris is the oldest of six kids. His mother, Catherine, is a no-nonsense kind of woman, and as a result, Chris stays pretty much on the straight and narrow. I think he has a bright future in whatever he chooses to do. Athletically speaking, he’ll do well either in college or the minors if he chooses to stick with baseball.

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Today is the fourth game of our seven-game homestand. After this, our last seven games are on the road in district play. We’re playing the McAuley Catholic Warriors out of Joplin. The Warriors are 10-9 this season and tied for fourth in the district. John Daves is on the hill for us. Daves is 4-1 this season, with a 2.36 ERA. Only 22 people come out for the game. Seriously? We’re a first-place team, and this is the turnout we get? Unbelievable!! I feel for the guys.

We only make it two outs into the game when Daves goes down with an injury. I bring Justin Schmitt, who is my emergency starter, into the game to eat up a couple of innings before hitting the bullpen. Schmitt does alright, but he gives up a two-run homer to right center in the top of the 3rd. We still trail 2-0 in the top of the 4th when I bring Jim Gillespie into pitch. I’m not thrilled when Gillespie gives up a leadoff triple. The runner scores two batters later on an RBI double to put us down 3-0. Jim recovers and gets us through the 6th inning, but our bats are flat and we still trail 3-0. I bring Jeremy Williams into the game in the 7th and keep my fingers crossed we can get back into this game. We have a couple of chances in the last couple of innings, but can’t capitalize. We end up losing the game 3-0, putting our record to 14-6. We’ve still got a two-game lead in the district, but we can’t have too many more games like this if we want to make the postseason.

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In the Majors, Charles Nagy of the Cleveland Indians threw a 5-hit shutout against the Minnesota Twins, as the Tribe won 11-0. Right fielder Darrin Jackson of the Chicago White Sox went 5 for 5 in an 11-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Last edited by abell1198; 06-15-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:14 PM   #31
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Season Update

Well, we’re 20 games into our 30 game season. The team is 14-6 and holds a two-game lead in the district over Purdy, and a three-game lead over three other teams. Shortstop Samir Shivers is hands down the best player we have. He’s the only .300 hitter on the team and his average is currently sitting at .394, which is 2nd best in 2A. Shivers is also 2nd in 2A in RBI with 27.

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Samir Shivers is the only Jewish kid in our town. His mother is American and his father is from Israel. He may be the best kid on the team, but as a freshman, he doesn’t have the leadership skills to lead the other players. I’m sure that will develop over time, though. Samir is 6’2” and 170 lbs. As a hitter, he’s done very well given his inexperience at the high school level. His fielding is pretty good, but it’s something we’re still working on at times. Samir’s father, David, is an executive at the local bank. His mother, Jillian, runs a small thrift shop. Samir is the youngest of three kids, with both his older brother and sister already out of the house and in college.

My second best hitter right now is first baseman Chris Gause, who is hitting .270. Gause is tied with one other player in 2A for runs scored with 25. Right fielder John Graham is my power guy, with 7 HR and 25 RBI. Graham is tied with three other players for homers, while three players are tied for 1st with 8 HR. Graham has the 3rd most RBI in 2A.

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John is a junior and is getting ready to turn 17 next month. His nickname is “Big House” because he’s the local rich kid and lives in the biggest house in town. It’s definitely not because of his size, as he stands 5’10” and weighs 165 pounds. John’s mom and dad, Frank and Lisa, are the local real estate team. If you’re looking for a house, land, or farm, they’re the ones to talk to. John, however, is a bit slow when it comes to instruction. Not the best student, either, but his grades are good enough to keep him eligible to play ball. John has great power for his size and is an average fielder.

As I’ve mentioned before, Doug Parlier is the best pitcher we have. He’s tied with one other player in 2A for wins with six. He’s tied with multiple players with 38 strikeouts, while the two leaders in 2A have 39. We have three more home games, then we finish out our last seven games on the road in district play. Hopefully, we’ll see a turnaround from this last loss and push our way to a district title!! Meanwhile, I need to find a way to get more fans in the bleachers for our last three home games.
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Old Yesterday, 03:13 PM   #32
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Friday, April 22, 1994

Today’s game is at home against the Diamond Wildcats. Diamond is 9-11 on the year and currently hold 6th place in the district. Brian Leonard is on the mound for us today, which makes me a nervous wreck. The last time he pitched, he had trouble with his control. His off days haven’t seen much improvement in that area, so needless to say, I am a bit worried.

Brian is our #3 starter. He’s a junior, stands 6’1”, and comes in at 175 lbs. The kid has had his issues this year with his control, but he strikes lots of guys out because he throws six different pitches. None of them particularly well, mind you, but the hitters never really know what pitch they’re going to see. Brian is the quiet kid in the bunch. Brian can get his fastball up to 95 mph. Problem is, it isn’t over the plate most of the time. He doesn’t really say too much and doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends. I’d classify him as a bit of a loner. He has lived in Sarcoxie his whole life. His parents had him young and never married. His dad left when he was young and it’s been just him and his mom, Patty, ever since. Patty works a lot, being a single mom, and doesn’t make it out to many of his games. As for Brian, I’m still working on chipping away at his quietness and trying to get him to open up. “Communication is key” I keep telling him, trying to get him to open up about anything, but so far, it hasn’t worked for anything other than baseball and his performance at practice or in games.

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Only 30 fans come out to see us play, which doesn’t help my mood. The guys sense I’m not real happy and are avoiding me unless they have to talk to me. Leonard proves my concerns as valid, as Diamond leads the game off with a double. Brian walks the next batter but then strikes out the next two. Could it be? Has his control returned? Four balls later, and the bases now loaded, I get my answer. Two base hits follow, a 2-RBI single and an RBI single. Leonard manages to strikeout another batter to end the inning, but we find ourselves trailing 3-0 before we’ve even picked up a bat. Chris Gause hits a solo shot to left to make it 3-1. Leonard loads the bases in the 2nd on two walks and a base hit before recording an out by strikeout. Man, this kid either has it, or he doesn’t. Hot and cold. Thanks to a heads up play by Gause on a 3-2 groundout and a subsequent flyout, we manage to escape the inning. Brian manages to pull it together in the 3rd and 4th innings, but his pitch count is just too high and four innings is all I let him go. We still trail 3-1 going into the bottom of the 4th. Gause leads off with a walk, then Samir Shivers brings him in with a two-run homer to left to tie the game!! John Graham follows up with a double. Graham gets to third on a passed ball, then scores on a ground out to give us the lead, 4-3!

Mike Biggerstaff comes in to pitch in the 5th and gives up a leadoff single. The runner is sacrificed over, then scores on an RBI single to left, as Diamond ties the game up at 4 a piece. A couple of fly outs later, we go into the bottom half of the inning. Billy Hill gets on base on an error. Three base hits later, he and Josh Quinn score and we lead again, 6-4! We push two more runs across the plate and lead 8-4 after five. After a quiet 6th inning, the guys break out the lumber again in the bottom of the 7th. We blow the game open, scoring six times on six hits. After seven innings, we lead 14-4!! I bring Darius Turner in to pitch and he puts in a solid two innings for us, recording three strikeouts. We win the game by the same score and our record improves to 15-6 on the season. We now have a three-game lead in the district over four teams. One of those teams is our next opponent, Pierce City. After the beat down we put on them in our first meeting, I’m sure the rivalry will be primed for some action!

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In the Majors, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser pitched a 4-0 shutout against the Montreal Expos.

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__________________
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My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

Completed Dynasties:
World Series League
March Madness 2015
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