We delayed our vacation two days, because Wesley’s baseball team (the White Sox) won a double header on Saturday to play for the championship tonight. I am glad we changed vacation plans, because we played well tonight and we won!
White Sox 8 Yankees 7
We lost to the Yankees three times last year; twice in the regular season and once in the championship game. We also lost to them twice this year, but in this year’s championship game–we won!!! The team played really well in the field. The Yankees have good hitters and normally score 15+ runs a game. Wesley caught a pop fly and made some great stops at second base. He struggled at bit at the plate. He struck out his first at bat. He hit a single his second at bat, but was thrown out at second. His third at bat turned out to be a bit better. More on that later.
At the top of the fifth inning, the Yankees were up to bat. We were down 7-6. We needed to hold them and then score two runs to win. The first two batters struck out and the last batter hit a pop fly to our first baseman, who made a great hit.
In the bottom of the fifth (the last inning in our league), our first batter grounded out. The next batter hit a single. The third batter hit a great grounder into center field. The ball was thrown to the second baseman and our base runner toyed with him just long enough to let one of our guys round third and score.It was all tied up when Wesley got up to the plate. I was pretty nervous. Our assistant coach was out and he asked me to cover for him, so I was coaching first base. Standing just off first base gave me a pretty good view. I could see Wesley’s face.
He looked calm and confident.
The head coach asked me to pray with the team on the field before each game. I was happy to do so. I prayed before tonight’s game. I don’t pray for a win. I simply pray for God to help the team play to the best of their ability, to play as a team, to encourage one another, and to show good sportsmanship.Standing off first base with Wesley at the plate moved me to pray again. I said, “Jesus, help him.” That was it. I said it out loud, but with a tied ball game in the 7 & 8 year-old flea league of the Americus Sumter County Parks and Recreation Authority Championship Game, my prayer was muffled by the roar of the crowd.
The ball was pitched.
It was a hard grounder past the second baseman.
I held up Wesley on first and then sent him on to second.
The first base runner rounded third and things went into slow motion.
When he step on home plate. the umpire held up both hand and yelled, “Ballgame!”
It was pandemonium.
Wesley was picked up and slung to the ground, by his buddy and I kept pointing and Wesley and yelling, “You did it! You did it!” A dog pile on top of Wesley soon followed.
It was like something out of the movie.
After the trophy presentation, I told Wesley that I was proud of him for not giving up. He struck out once and got thrown out, but he didn’t give up. He kept fighting and had a walk off hit to win the game.