by Ben M
A short story about the final out of a baseball final, told from three viewpoints.
| Noah brushed his stringy hair out of his eyes, his hand groped the ball, feeling the seams, rubbing the dirt on the surface. The baseball diamond was framed by the night sky, illuminated by giant lights spread across the outside. The scoreboard stuck out among the darkness, showing that the Cardinals two runs ahead of the White Sox. Noah was the Cardinal's closer, he took that position because of his blazing fastball and his swerving curveball, always throwing the batter off because he threw the ball almost totally sidearmed. This inning, however, wasn't like any ordinary 1-2-3 inning. Noah had struck out the first batter and caused the second one to fly out, the 8 and 9 hitters. The next two had bruised him for a double and a single, all he had to do was hold this batter.|
Trey swung the bat once more, hard and perfectly level, his swing was on tonight, he had hit in one of the White Sox's runs and he had been the other. This pitcher didn't even look great, with his stringy brown hair and sidearm pitch, Trey would hit off him for sure. He took one more warm up swing before stepping out of the protection of the on-deck circle. Slowly he walked toward the batters box.
Andrew stood in the outfield, feeling lonely. Sure, he wasn't the best player, but that didn't mean that coach had to hide him in right field every game, two balls had been hit to him in the last six games. He had caught them, but that apparently wasn't enough to prove that maybe, just maybe, he could play center field for one game. This game had been no different, he was stuck in right while he watched the rest of his team stop every ball that came to them. Even James, the left fielder had a few balls hit to him. Andrew sighed, he might quit next season.
Noah watched as the hitter stepped into the box, he had been hot this game. But Noah knew just how to deal with people like him. He could tell that the batter was a guts and glory type of guy, the type that would swing at almost anything if it meant a big hit. Keeping this in mind, Noah went into his windup.
Trey stood in ready position, knees bent, bat cocked back, ready to smash the ball with inhuman force. The pitcher went into his windup, putting his foot forward, then back, he looked totally relaxed. Trey put his left foot forward, this was called trigger stride, loading the gun, it was for building power. The pitcher raised his knee, and released the ball with sizzling force. Trey grinned inside. Perfect Trey released the gun, swinging the bat with ridiculous force, the bat sliced the underside of the ball, sending it straight upwards and over the fence.
Noah grinned, perfect, a foul pop fly right behind the batter, he had thrown it just above the strike zone so that the batter would think it was a home run pitch, before realizing that it was too high. He began his windup again, trying not to give the batter time to get settled, and threw it, this time it swerved wildly, landing in the dirt behind and to the left of the plate.
Trey cursed. Why had he swung at that? He stepped out of the batter's box to try to get himself together. he had one more chance, one more chance to win the game for his team. He took a few swings, then stepped back into the box, ready to smash the runners home. The pitcher wound up again, and again the ball flew out of his hand. Only this time, it was lower, just right. Trey swung the bat again, smack, the ball flew off the bat, flying way over the first baseman.
Now it was Noah's turn to curse, the ball was headed to right field, to Andrew. And it wasn't going right to Andrew either, he would have to make a great play. Noah didn't think, no, he knew Andrew would mess it up. He sighed, he had blown it.
Andrew looked up from the blade of grass he had been studying, a baseball was flying through the air, not unusual, the unusual part was that it was coming to him! He took off, it was too far, the ball was falling, falling. He flew towards it, but would he be too late?
Grass flew out from under him, he leaped through thin air, closed his eyes, and squeezed his glove, praying that the ball had found a way into it.
Trey looked disbelievingly, there was no way...
Noah looked disbelievingly, there was no way...
Andrew raised his glove and, uncertain of what it held, looked inside.
The crowd erupted, Noah cheered, and Trey smashed his helmet into the ground.
The Cardinals were winners.