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Subject: Strike Two Chapter 3 9(Adult/Youth the Mexican team was housed in another section of the Grove. If they would have been in the same area Adian might find himself visiting Hector. The only problem Hector did not speak any English. He was not like his cousins who spoke English perfectly. Adian wondered if Jose or Carlos would introduce their cousin to him. Adian walked over and stood there listening to the boy’s talk. Adian was a fast learner and listened. He knew some words of Spanish, but they were like where is the bathroom and por que which means why. He also knows how to say what is your name and what his name was but that was about it. “Hey, Adian this is our cousin Hector.” Carlos said to him not wanting to leave Adian out of their conversation. Adian sat down and listened while Carlos and Jose translated what was being said. If either brother wanted to sit in on a conversation with Miki or Ryo, he would be happy to translate for them. The boys talked for a while then they had to get ready for the upcoming game. So, Hector said goodbye and said he would see them at the game. *** Blake was impressed at how well Bryan was pitching at practice and how well Peter was doing catching. Blake was pleased how well Peter was looking to him to see what pitch Blake was calling. Meanwhile, John Parson had the boys hitting batting practice and the boys looked in good form. Ben kept the boys busy telling them jokes and trying to keep them calm. Besides coaching first base during the tournament this was another of his jobs he promised Blake he would do. He knew this was just one of the reasons Blake had brought him along. It also helped he was only seven years older than most of the boys on the team. (Game time) “Welcome back to the Little League World Series for this afternoon’s international game between the Mexican Oriente Little League who are 3 and 1 and the Mid-West Regional Wilton Cougars who are just one of the undefeated teams going into this with a 38 and 0 record.” Tim Lizar told the audience watching the game. “Tim, I took notice while going over the starting lineup of the Wilton Cougars that they have the youngest players starting this game. With three 10-year-old, four 11-year-old and two 12-year-olds. It also means this group that is on the field makes them the youngest team in the Little League World series this year.” Jim Nance told his announcing partner Tim Lizar and the listening audience. Jack Cannon had the day off. But was still at the game watching with his son PJ Thorndyke. Jack had called PJ and asked him to come down to watch the game with him. PJ knew he could not turn his father’s request down especially when his father told him about the young player from Minnesota. PJ has been very instrumental in starting the National Youth Baseball Association back in 2008. Even though he plays a small role, he helps to fund the organization and helps to promote the NYBA through setting up new teams throughout the United States. The Little league organizations tend to decide who and where teams play their championship games. Where the NYBA draws from several other organizations like the AAU, AABC, Babe Ruth, Dixie Youth, NABC, PONY, Super Series and USSSA. This was a true representation of baseball throughout the United States. They were still in the beginning stages and have yet to go international. Hopefully, they would be doing so in the future. “It looks like the Wilton Cougars have lost the toss. Which means Mexico will be batting last.” “First up for the Cougars will be Sean Marcus” Sean looked down the third base line. It was just a formality because Sean had already known what the signal would be. They had talked it over after Bobby had lost the call at the plate. He was to watch the first pitch go by. From what Blake had told the boys the first pitcher they would be facing was known for his hard throws but did not have particularly good control over that pitch. Blake had also told the boys he tends to start with that pitch then switch to an off-speed pitch and if that did not work the boy would go to his curve ball which was his best pitch. Sean wondered why the boy would not start with his best pitch, he knew Blake would let him and the other pitchers. After getting the sign Sean stepped in. Blake had been right the first pitch was a fast ball which was high and to the outside. The next two pitches were the same. Sean was ahead in the count with three balls and no strikes. The next pitch was a curve ball which broke across the plate for the first strike. When Sean stepped out for the next sign from Blake, he was surprised to see Blake give him the sign to take the next pitch. The boys on the Cougars knew from all the games if you did not listen to coach Blake calls, you would be sitting out the rest of the game and into the next game before you would get to play again. He had made this instruction clear from the very beginning of the year. Sean stepped in and watched as the fifth pitch sail over his head and the catcher and umpires head to the back wall. Sean did not hesitate and took off for first base. As he approached the base Ben was signaling him to go to second base. Sean was one of the faster boys on the cougars he rounded first and looked to Blake who was telling him to slide into second. Sean just made it under the tag at second. It was just like Blake had told the boys the team from Mexico would make mistakes and the team would take advantage of them. Eric Hooper was up next, and he repeated the process. With men on first and second, Blake gave the signal for Aaron to bunt and that is just what he did right down the third base line. izmit sınırsız escort bayan The third baseman rushed the ball along with the first baseman and confused the pitcher and second baseman, so no one was covering first or third. Both Sean and Aaron made it safely to first and third. The third baseman made the throw to second, but the short stop missed the bag and Eric was safe at second. The team from Mexico knew they were in trouble, the best hitter from the Wilton cougars was now coming up to bat. They had talked about something like this happening prior to the game. It was decided at that time if there were runners on base, they would walk Adian Parks. “It looks like the Mexican team plans on walking Wiltons number 29 Adian Parks.” Jim said to Tim and the listening audience. “It is probably the right thing to do. He already has three grand slams coming into this game.” Tim replied to Jim. “Here’s the pitch high and outside.” “They’re taking a chance letting him stay in the batter’s box, it would be better off if they pitched out.” Tim told the listening audience. The next three pitches thrown were pitched out when the catcher stood up and stepped out from behind home plate. One run scored on the intentional walk, but bases were still full, and Peter Corona was up to bat. Peter is a good hitter, but he is not one of the strongest on the team. Blake made the discission to have Peter swing away. Two of the three baserunners were the top sprinters on the team. Blake could have him bunt, but Peter was a better hitter than bunter. Peter stepped in and watched as the first pitch went over his head for ball one. Blake signaled to bunt. He knew what to do, the pitcher would come with a curve ball, and he was told to wait for the last second to pull back. It would draw the corners in. If it was called a strike he was to swing away on the next pitch. If it was called a ball, he was to repeat the bunt play. The idea was to keep their opponents off guard. Peter did as instructed, Blake had never led him wrong he was not about to doubt him now. The next pitch was a curve ball but broke to far inside and was called ball two. Peter knew that the next pitch would be a fastball. He was right and he squared to bunt like the pitch, he squared, which drew the corners in. Only this time the pitcher lost control, going over the catcher’s head and went all the way to the fence. Scoring Eric Hooper while moving Aaron and Adian to second and third. Blake gave Peter the go ahead signal to swing away. Peter got the pitch he wanted and needed hitting to shallow right. Just out of reach of the second baseman who went back to try and make the catch and just in front of the right fielder. Scoring both Aaron and Adian. Bobby flew out to the centerfielder and David Ramiers hit into a double play ending the top of the first. Bryan Mars stepped in to pitch. Jose warm Bryan up while Peter got his catchers gear on. Once dressed, Peter stepped in and took a few more catches before the umpire call out to play ball. Blake had been right the players from Mexico struggled against Bryans pitching. Blake knew he would only be able to use Bryan for a couple of innings before they would figure Bryan out. Bryan struck out the first three batters with his off-speed pitches and fastballs. Bryan was not allowed to throw a curveball, but he had been taught by his father how to throw a knuckleball. Which Blake has him use a lot, since no one has figured out how to hit. Bryan was the first batter at the top of the second inning and was quickly walked. Sean stepped in and hit the first pitch as he was instructed to do by Blake. That moved Bryan to second, but Sean was thrown out at first base. Eric moved Bryan to third on a hit up the middle. Now the cougars had runners on first and third. Aaron stepped up and looked at Blake and was given the sign to take the first pitch and then was allowed to swing away at the second pitch. Aaron stepped in and waited for the pitch. The pitchers first pitch went wild and flew over both the catchers head and the umpire. Bryan was gone before Blake could tell him to go. The only problem was that the ball bounced right back to the catcher. If it had not been for the umpire the young catcher would have tagged Bryan out at home plate. Eric went to second standing up. The next pitch was outside and to the left of the plate. For ball two. Aaron stepped out and looked to Blake for the next sign, which was for him to swing away. Aaron looked over to Adian who was in the batters warm up circle. He smiled knowing that Adian was making the pitcher worried. He wondered if they were going to walk him again or try to strike him out. From what Jose had told him, the Mexican team would try to keep him from getting any hits. Kristopher laughed when he had heard that knowing there was yet to be a time that Adian had been struck out. The only tangible way they were going to get him out was if he were thrown out. Ball four. Aaron ran to first base. Now there were two runners on, and Adian was up to bat. Adian looked to his foster brother for the signal. Just like all the other boys he was given the sign to wait on the first pitch. He watched as the first pitch came in. What he did not see was that Blake had given both Eric and Aaron the sign to go on the first pitch. Blake knew that would really shake the Mexican team up. The catcher was so confused he had no idea where to throw the ball. Adian figured they would pitch out the next three pitches. To his surprise the pitcher came at him with a fastball right down the middle. For called strike one. Now with the evinde görüşen escort count at 1 and 1. He was ready for the next pitch. Blake had given him the sign to swing away and that is what he did. Ting Everyone watched as the ball flew off the end of the bat. It was high enough, but it drifted past the third base foul line. Adian was halfway to first base before he was called back, strike two. With one ball and two strikes the pitcher from Mexico figured he had Adian and decided to go against his coaches called pitch. He was told to pitch out after the foul ball. Instead, he threw a fastball down the middle. Ting The Mexican pitcher watched as the ball flew back to the two twenty mark on the fence, just over the head of the left fielder. A loud cheer went up through the crowd. Adian was met at home plate by both Eric and Aaron and the rest of the team. The cougars now led the Mexican team eight to nothing. And there was only one out at the top of the second inning. The coach walked out to talk to his pitcher to calm him down. But he never made it to the bottom of the inning. Peter, Bobby, and David were all walked. Bryan struck out for out number two. After the pitcher had been removed and a new pitcher replaced him. Sean hit the ball to the right field scoring Peter and Bobby. David was thrown out at third base ending the inning. Bryan went in and pitched to four batters striking out one and having the one walk and having the fourth batter hit into a double play. After Bryan’s performance, Blake decided to keep Bryan in and pitch the top of the third inning. That way saving one of his pitchers for another game. Eric and Aaron flew out, and Adian was walked. Peter ended the inning by striking out. Bryan ended up walking the first batter, the next batter hit a single to right field. Blake began to wonder if he did the right thing by leaving Bryan in, but he need not to worry. The next batter stepped in and hit a hardline drive to Adian who snagged the ball out of nowhere then threw the ball to first for the second out of the inning. Bryan then struck the next batter out. Bryan was met by every player on the bench with hugs. Bryan knew he was done. He had served his purpose and was happy to watch the rest of the game. The Lavia twins would be going in Carlos at catcher for Peter and Jose for Bryan who would be going to right field. Sean would be moving to pitch. Kristopher would go into short stop, Freddy in for Peter at first base with Rj going into left and JD going into center field. That would get everyone in if the game did not go more than five innings. Bryan would still get his turn at bat as well as Peter and David. Peter was first to bat and went down on three straight pitches. David faired just a little better than Peter did, fouling off the first two pitches then watched as two more pitches for two balls and two strikes. The next pitch was called strike three even though the ball bounced in front of the home plate. Blake came out to appeal the called strike, but the call stood. When Bryan stepped in; he had already witnessed the new pitcher. He was a lot more accurate than the pitcher before. So, he made himself small when he got into the batter’s box. With the count of three balls and one strike the pitcher threw a wild pitch that hit Bryan on his right shoulder. He went down at home plate. Both Blake and Ben rushed to home plate to make sure Bryan was okay. Even though the boy looked in pain he went to first base. Blake did not really have anyone he could put in without risking not being able to get everyone their time in the game. Bryan hustled down to first base clutching his arm. He knew he was not going to be able to finish the Little League World Series. Something just did not feel right. Sean Marcus was up next. Like Bryan, he made himself small and just like Bryan was hit by a pitch only he got hit in the thigh. He walked it off and took his place at first base. Now with two players injured Blake wondered how this inning was going to end. Eric stepped in and watched as the first pitch went over his head, but the catcher made a great stop to keep the runners on base. The next pitch came just outside for a called strike. Blake began to wonder what game the umpire was watching. That was the second bad call in less than two innings, Eric hit the next pitch over the head of the second baseman moving the other two runner up to the next base. Kristopher next stepped up to the plate. Blake had signaled him to watch the first pitch unless it was in his zone. Kristopher was one of the few players Blake trusted. Ting Everyone watched as the ball flew over the left field fence. It was the cougars forth Grand slam in the Little League World Series only two other teams have had more Grand slams. With this being the last pool play game before the final week of play, they still had a chance of beating the record. With the score now 11 to nothing it looked like the game was in the bag. Adian was beginning to wonder if Ryo and Miki were going to make it to the game. He still had not seen or heard them from the crowd. He had heard Logan and Scott and had even picked out where John, Mary and Jake were sitting. He was happy to see that they had made it back from New York for the game. He was worried they would not make it back in time for the game. Adian stepped up to the plate and waited for the first pitch. He figured they would pitch out and walk him this inning. It really did not matter if he got a hit or not since there was not much of a chance for the Mexican little league team catching them at this point. However, the pitcher kocaeli sınırsız escort bayan threw a strike right down the middle. It looked like the Mexican team was going to try and strike him out. Adian stepped out and looked at Blake for instructions. Blake just signaled him to swing away. Like Kristopher, Blake trusted Adian to make the right call while he was up to bat. Ting The crowd roared as the ball went over the centerfield fence. “Holy crap, dad. That must be one of the longest hit balls in Little League history.” PJ said to his dad. Jack Cannon revered the ball that Adian had just hit. It could have easily cleared a major league ball field fence plus a few feet further into the stands. PJ Thorndyke Cannon became an instant fan of Adian Parks. He had to meet the young ball player. “Is there any way I could meet him?” PJ asked his dad. “I will see what I can do. He more than likely will be surrounded by the press after this game. It looks like he is one of the players to watch in the future.” Jack told his son. *** The next three batters went down in order. Which would bring the Mexican team up to bat and if they do not score three runs at the bottom of the fourth the game is over. Carlos got Sean warmed up and ready. What Carlos did not realize was his cousin was the next batter up to bat. He felt bad having to call pitches that would get him to strike out, fly out or ground out. Unless Hector can connect and get a base hit. Sean went into his windup and threw a fastball right down the middle for the first strike. Sean’s next pitch was a curveball that just caught the corner for strike two. Jose was starting to feel bad for his cousin. So, he knew what he was going to do next would make him feel bad if his team were to find out. He knew the pitch he was going to call would be perfect for Hector. He gave the sign for a change up. At first Sean shook it off, but when Jose gave him the sign for another curve ball, he shook that off too. Sean then gave Jose a sign telling him he was going to throw the change up. Jose smiled to himself. Sean went into his wind up and threw the change up just like Jose wanted. Hector saw the pitch and knew what he was going to do with it. He knew it was not a home run ball but at least he would be able to either get a single or a double if he hit it well enough. Just like Jose suspected, Hector swung and made good contact with the ball driving it just over Eric Hoopers at second base. JD rushed in from centerfield making a dive but just missed the ball. It rolled past him, but he was able to grab the ball to stop Hector from advancing to third. JD made the throw to Kristopher at shortstop as not to allow the runner to advance and Adian was there to back up the throw just in case the ball somehow got by Kristopher. With one runner on and the top of the Mexican batting order up to bat, Sean had some work to do. With his team cheering him on Sean stepped up and went to work. His first two pitches were called balls but the next two even the count at two balls and two strikes. The corners moved in to stop the bunt when the batter squared, but somehow Sean threw a breaking pitch that tailed down and struck the young batter out for the first out. Sean looked to Blake, and he gave Sean the thumbs up. Before the game even started Blake had pulled his pitcher to the side and talked to them about situations and what to do. The second batter for the Mexican team was well known for his bunting. So, when Sean stepped onto the pitcher’s mound and saw the batter square to bunt, he threw another braking pitch that dropped for strike one. On the throwback to the pitcher from Carlos. Hector took off to third. Sean catches the ball and throws it to third base, but his throw was not in time and Hector was under the tag. With one out and a man at third Sean decided it would be better to let the hitter bunt the ball. So, the next pitch he threw was a very hittable slow ball right down the middle. The batter turned and set up for a squeeze bunt. The young Mexican boy laid a bunt down the first base line. Peter rushed the ball, as Sean went to first base to wait for the throw from Peter. Peter picked up the ball turned to check the runner at third, then made the throw to first. Sean caught the ball for the second out. Sean walked over to the pitcher’s mound. He looked to Blake for a sign, Blake just shook his head and Sean smiled. He knew that Carlos would be making the calls for the next batter. Carlos called a fastball to the outside for Sean’s first pitch. The Mexican batter never stood a chance of hitting it. It was called a strike after the batter took a hard cut. Carlos called the same pitch, but this time the batter caught it and popped it up into the infield. Adian called out and caught the ball for the third out, ending the fourth inning and the game. The Wilton Cougars won due to the ten-run rule. Everyone met at home plate hugging each other patting each other’s shoulders. They then lined up and shook hands with the boys from the Mexican team. Then headed back towards the dugout. Standing in front of the crowd the boys gave a cheer to the crowd then thanked them for coming to the game. It was then that Adian noticed Ryo and Miki sitting in the stands with Li, Liu, and Lok, all five boys were standing up and cheering. Adian waved and pointed to the Grove and all five boys knew what Adian meant. But it would be a while before Adian or any of the other boys from the Cougar team would make it to the Grove. There was a swarm of reporters and fans waiting for them once they picked up their equipment. The boys spent the next two hours talking to reporters. Most talking about the game, but many of the reporters wanted to know about Adian and what it was like to play with him during the season and here at the Little League World Series. When the boys did finally get away from everyone, Blake wanted to have a team meeting. 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