Wow! What a Little League AA (10-11yr olds) Championship Game last night. The Orange Team put out this kid for pitching that we had never seen before, and whose velocity and control was incredible. Little League rules state that a kid can only pitch 3 innings, so needless to say, we we were waiting until we could get past this kid. We didn't score any runs the first three innings.
Calvin started for us as pitcher, and did a fine job. The first two innings he gave up just one run each. Then in the 3rd, no fault to his pitching, but the ended up getting 5 runs.
I had to have a little "sermon" to keep the kids from getting dispondent, now being down 7-0 in the bottom of the 3rd (we were home). It seems to have paid off, as the kids kept themselves in it, although, with "Joe Smoke" out there, we still were not able to fashion any runs.
Nathan came in a pitched the rest of the game. They didn't get any runs at all in the 4th. We, however, were now facing a human pitcher, someone like we had seen all year. We rallied for a 5 run inning, making the score at the end of 4 innings 7-5 - HEY, we're back in this thing!!
They got one in the top of the 5th (which in our division is our last inning). So, we were down three going into the final at bat. Ezra, one of my favorite kids on the team, got a great hit right down the 1st base line to start the inning. He was able to steal second on a past ball. The next two batters, unfortunately, struck out, leaving us with 2 outs. Carrington drew a walk, and Ezra stole third on the play (very funny here, he actually walked to third, thinking that he had drawn a walk from 2nd to third as well - but there was no one one 2nd base!). Kevin, out top of the order guy got a hit, scoring Ezra to make it 8-6, and Chris also got a hit, now loading the bases.
Dononvan was up. Donny has been my most improved player of the year. He came this year with very little baseball experience, but, man, has he shown up and worked hard! He was so nervous he was grabbing his stomach to breath. Bases loaded, two outs, down by two. Wow, I felt for the little guy. Lots of pressure. He quickly got 2 strikes against him, and was able to lay off a couple of lousy pitches that were way out of the zone. Finally, with a 2-2 count, he swung at a good pitch, but didn't get all of it. It was back to the pitcher, but he would have to make a good play to get Donny out. Unfortunately for us, he did, and the game was over. If that play would have been an overthrow, we would have scored two runs, and the game would have been tied.
Very sad players, but I couldn't be more proud as a coach! They worked hard, were class acts in winning and losing this year, and left every little last bit of their effort out on the field.
Afterward, we had an award ceremony for the 2nd place medalions, and then we had our last team get together where I awarded each player with a personal award for their accomplishments this year. Kudos to the 2005 Midway Little League Runners Up, the M&Ms (Maroon team)! To quote Hoosiers, "I love you guys!"
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
The Lord is just too good to me. I've experienced a serious healing of sorts from my back pain, enough so that I could coach our little league team tonight. What an exciting game! We beat the Red team, who we have lost to every time we have played them in the regular season. Excellent starting pitching from Danny, and good relief from Chris in the 4th inning. An "in the park home run" from Nathan, doubles by Calvin and Donovan, as well as just great defensive plays by Chris, Ezra, Jonnell and Talvin all kept us in this game. However, the game ball went to Levi Nelson for his 5th inning "Shut-em-down" perfomance. He stuck out all three batters and allowed us to keep our 7-3 margin. (NOTE - we only play 5 innings in AA Little League)
Now on Friday night, at Midway Little League Field (1 block East of Hamline on Marshall Ave - take a left and the field is at the end of the block) we are going to be playing for the League Championship! Kudos to the kids and the hard work they have put in. If you want to go, there are no ticket prices, and I guarantee a great game. Game time is 8pm.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
It doesn't look like much of an injury, but for the second time in about 5 years, I have herniated (ruptured) a disc in my back. This one came about as just a sore back on June 28th, but within 2 weeks I was wincing in pain. Then, last week when I was taking a class on Postmodern Preaching I was doing all I could to not just scream at the top of my lungs! I left the last day of class at lunch time, and was fortunate to have a buddy named Dan who bummed me a couple of Vicodin for the trip home (did I just admit to taking a non-prescription narcotic? - we'll keep Dan's last name just between him and me, eh?!?)
Anyway, made the 6 hour journey back from Trinity near Chicago, and was bedridden in pain for the next 3 days. Got some of my own drugs from my doc for pain and for swelling he prescribed a steroid (can you say - AHHHNOOLD! I knew you could!). Also, Chris and Claudia Roberts came and prayed over me on Sunday.
On Monday, I was able to get up and around without excruciating pain, and went to my back specialist. Turns out I hav ruptured disc, which either the steriod will allow time for the body to dissolve or we'll have to go back in there through surgery again.
I'm doing well, not in the pain I was in, but it still hurts some. If you are willing, seeking the great, awesome healer in Jesus Christ would be appreciated.
I'll update you'll soon.