You Really Had To Be There

When last I posted, “the boy” and his team (The Red Barons) were headed to the end of season tournament on Friday night. They were scheduled to play 2 games (assuming they won) and the Championship game was set for Sunday. They quickly took care of the lower seed team in the first game (15-0) and then the rains came….

So they arrived at the fields this morning knowing in order to get to the Championship game, they would need to beat the only team that had beaten them all year, the Upper Arlington Bears. That loss came in a bottom of the 6th heartbreaker at the mid-season tournament. It cost the Red Barons that crown. They would later meet again with the Barons winning 14-4.

Let’s just jump right to the 6th inning. With the score 4-2 and the Red Barons down to their last out, it looked as if the season (and shot at the Championship) was over. The final batter was at the plate, full count and the season on the line. That’s when it started…

The details are still a bit fuzzy but somehow, remarkably, the Red Barons would end up with the bases loaded, the score 4-3 and STILL two outs. At least 2 of the kids that had reached base were down to their last strike. The player on first had just battled back from an 0-2 count to get a walk. The next player hit a shot to the short stop, he bobbled it and then his throw to first went wide. The whole time this was going on, the players from 2nd and 3rd were running towards home. When the dust cleared, the Red Barons had pulled off the unbelievable! Parents were screaming, hugging, high fives and literally crying. You can see from the image, the kids were going crazy. It was a moment I will not soon forget.

The Championship game proved to be somewhat anti-climatic as the Red Barons would win easily 18-2. As for “the boy”, he would end his day having pitched 6 total innings (the maximum of 3 each game) and not allowing a single earned run. He started all three games of the tournament and closed out the win against UA. In the Championship game, he threw 45 pitches, 36 of which were strikes. The Red Barons finished the season with a remarkable 20-1 record.

I wish you could have been there for the middle game. It was something I’ll never forget. I’m so proud of all the kids and especially number 50. They never gave up. They never quit. Now they are Champions. It was a great ride.

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