The Hitting Zone - BestLightNovel.com
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Chapter 1061 V3 Ch295 @ Porterville HS (3)
"I'll tie Kaylee here with a hit." Noah said before heading out to the on deck circle. "A double could win it."
My lips twitched. Now didn't seem like a good time to remind him that this might be his last at bat if we can get to ten after five innings.
Garret led us off with a stand-up double. Noah moved to the batter's box and I went out to the on deck circle.
Noah made solid contact, hitting a line drive to right. All eyes followed the ball. Including an incoming right fielder. He dove for the ball, catching it before sliding in the gra.s.s. Noah had to quit his run to first and jog it back. He picked up his bat on the way and let out a heavy sigh. "Is it too much to hope we don't mercy rule? Let me have some redemption."
I laughed and went to the plate. Just like in the first, Mr. Miller wanted us to do a hit and run. It's just Garret on second instead of Noah this time. I hit the very first pitch even though it was a little high out of the zone. It went to center, bouncing before the outfielder could get there. Garret was already long gone, rounding third and coming home on my single. The center fielder fielded the ball and threw it in. The pitcher cut it off, not allowing a play at the plate. Instead he faked a pump to keep me at first. I didn't think of making it to second anyways even if they did go home.
Bryce got jammed on an inside pitch and popped out to short. Sean also got jammed but hit a grounder to the pitcher instead. The pitcher threw him out at first and ended the offensive. He was definitely better than the first guy. He's gone two innings and only given up one run.
Back in the dugout, I switched my gear beside Noah.
"Looks like the mercy rule really might not happen." Noah muttered. "That guy is definitely better than the first guy."
I grinned. "Yea. I thought that too. But isn't that good for you? To have another at bat?"
Noah let out a sigh as we started to leave the dugout. "I don't know. It's depends on what I do in that at bat. Just a single and I know she wins. No need for Jeremy's input."
We split up and went to our respective sides on either side of second base. Garret was back at the top of the lineup to start the fourth. Batter one popped out to Sean at first. Batter two became strikeout victim number six. Batter three hit a long fly ball to right. Logan chased it back and made the catch on the warning track. End of the fourth.
Top of the fifth started with Jason. He led off with a single, probably feeling good that he got something today. Brian followed up with a double, pus.h.i.+ng Jason to third.
I looked to Noah. "Keep up this pace and you could bat again this inning and we can still mercy rule."
Noah's face twitched. "When did you become so hopeful?"
"You don't think so?"
His lips thinned. "I think I'm a realist. The guy on the mound isn't bad. We have a couple of guys that struggled against him when he first came in."
"I thought I was the realist between us?" I asked, tilting my head.
Noah laughed. "Shut up. I just feel differently because of the stupid comparison. It's too stressful going second. I know exactly what she did and somehow have to beat it." He shook his fists. "Next time, we have to pick the game where we play first."
I laughed and shook my head. "Maybe don't bet next time."
"You're no fun."
Unsurprisingly, Logan and Oscar both continued their struggles at the plate. Neither could make contact for even a sacrifice fly or fielders choice or anything to help the baserunners. Both struck out swinging. Garret moved to the plate and Noah went out to the on deck circle. I stood in the hole, ready to go out. I had faith in Garret getting a hit again. He was 2-2 for today.
He continued to stay hot; blasting a ball out of the park for a three-run homer. 10-0. The run differential for mercy rule was in effect. He just had to shut them out for one more inning. The guys slapped our hands on their way in, celebrating.
Noah got set in the batter's box and I went to the on deck circle. Noah was somehow in an even more difficult spot. He gets out and ends our half of the inning and we just know Kaylee will brag about the win and how Noah even had an extra chance. Get a single and Kaylee still wins by default. Because Noah will be short a run scored. Unless...I drove him in.
C'mon Noah. I gripped my bat tight and cheered for him silently. Not even bothering to take any practice swings.
The pitcher was a little rattled from Garrets banger. He threw three straight b.a.l.l.s. The fourth came, looking a little outside. Noah still swung, making me cringe. He made contact, hitting it the opposite way. The ball got over the infielders and dropped in for a base hit. I let out a breath I was holding.
I got in the righty's box and knew what I had to do to help Noah. Hit a home run of course. That way he can tie Kaylee. The pitcher gave me a semi-decent pitch to start and I pulled it down the left field line, clearing the fence. Two run shot. 12-0. I rounded the bases, slapping hands with Coach Riley at first and Mr. Miller at third. I met Noah at home and he pulled me into a playful headlock.
"You dummy." He laughed. "You couldn't wait an extra pitch so I can at least steal another base?" He practically dragged me back to the dugout where I met with more compliments and high fives.
I took my helmet off at our bags. "Sorry. I was too focused on driving you in for a run. I was thinking you could tie her up and it would be settled."
"Not really even since I have that lineout." Noah sighed, putting away his helmet too. "Oh well. Nothing we can do now."
That was right. We would rather lose to Kaylee than to have Garret blow his perfect game. He was three outs away from a mercy ruled perfect game. Something Dave did last year and Kyle argued that it counted as less. But I think it counted more because that means the whole team was working on the offense too.
Bryce flew out to center to end our offensive. We took the field for the bottom of the fifth, not saying anything to Garret. Garret didn't notice, completely zoned in on the cleanup hitter. He got the guy to strike out swinging. The fifth batter got under a pitch, popping out to Noah. The sixth batter was Garret's eighth of the game. The team started to swarm him at the mound. Me included. Garret's second perfect game this season. Against the same team, but still an accomplishment.