Chapter 14 The Cages 4
"Practiced." I mumbled, not liking the extra weight he was putting on me. I slipped out of his grip and started to move to the 75mph line.
"You practice that? Since when? For how long? Do you think I can do that to?" Noah was like the energizer bunny. He kept going and going, with endless questions, not even leaving me room to reply.
I just let him talk to himself. Besides not being able to get a word in, I wouldn't even know how to explain to him. Practice really sums it up. I started it a couple years ago. I imagine my reflection when I'm on either side of home plate so it's the same swing, just like looking in a mirror.
Noah finally paused to take a breath. He looked at me excitedly. "We have to hustle my brothers." I raised an eyebrow. "Think about it. They would never believe that the foster kid we got randomly assigned to us, is actually a switch hitter. This is our chance to win some extra money so we can come here more often."
I started to nod. I like it here. Mini golf was fun too. And I would like to practice swinging every day. It brings a certain calming effect to me.
"Can you do the 75mph too?" Noah glanced at the cage as the line got shorter and shorter. I gave him a single nod. "Just like last time?" I nodded once more. "With both?" I nodded again. "Bro, I really hope you can. This would be the biggest hustle." He pushed me to the cage as it finally emptied. "Show me. Show me. Show me!"
I lightly laughed at his impatience. But I also felt eager to show off. No one my age has ever complimented me on my switch hitting. That high school coach who tried recruiting me was the only one to really know what I could do.
The 75mph cage really didn't feel difficult to me at all. I smoothly got into the rhythm of hitting the ball right with the center of my bat and sending it straight to the pitching machine. I used a token for my right and then a token for my left. There wasn't much variation in how I hit the ball.
"You're a legit machine, Jake!" Noah pounced on me once I stepped out. "You hit all those pitches to the exact same spot. That's not normal at all!"
Noah ignored my discontent and dragged me to the 80mph cage. "This is the real test now. Most high school pitchers only have a velocity of 75 to 80."
I scrunched up my nose, not impressed, but Noah didn't see. He was too busy pulling his baseball gloves out of his backpack. "Put these on. We have to protect these golden hands of yours!"
He tried giving them to me, but I refused. I held up my hand to show the size difference between us. Noah is easily half of a foot taller than me even though we both have skinny frames. His five foot six inches towered over me making me feel like he really was older than me. It only makes sense that his hands are bigger too.
Noah sighed and put the gloves away. "Will you be okay without some? Or should I go back to rent a pair."
I gave him the universal okay sign. I never could afford batting gloves beforehand when I was hiding baseball from my mom, so it's not like I'm use to it.
I clutched the wooden bat in my left hand and two tokens in my right. It was time to try the 80s.