The Hitting Zone

Chapter 30 Meeting the Atkins 4

Chapter 30 Meeting the Atkins 4

Mrs. Atkins didn't look as happy as Noah did. She looked at him sternly. "I was going to wait after dinner since we have a guest over."

"Why? Did Noah get Jake in trouble?" Mr. Atkins frowned. "It would be better if Doug sees all sides of us. No reason to pretend to be perfect."

Mr. Duncan glanced at me. "From what I heard so far, I already approve. Jake seems to be having fun and he even wants to play baseball again."

"Well for starters, they broke a bat." Mrs. Atkins stated. "A wooden bat. An expensive wooden bat that Mr. Williams wasn't going to rent out in the first place. Luckily he was nice about it and let me buy a new one at a discount for Jake."

"How did you guys break a bat?" The twins asked at the same time, obviously in the same wavelength.

"Faulty equipment." Noah rolled his eyes. "Jake is like a machine and can hit the ball with the same part of the bat repeatedly." He moved his eyebrows up and down at Zeke. "He foul tipped 12 of 12 pitches in the 100mph cage."

Zeke's eyebrows furrowed.

"Wait, honey. That's not such a big deal. Did something else happen?" Mr. Atkins asked.

"Noah had no money on him at all so they had called me in. Apparently Noah lost it all in a bet." She replied. "He also was out of line when telling Mr. Williams what happened. Very rude and undisciplined. Grounding isn't a very viable solution, so I'm proposing no sweets for his lunches or after dinner for a while."

"We were cheated!" Noah cried out. "We would have won if the bat didn't break."

"Noah, what have I told you about gambling?" His dad asked. "You're too young. You shouldn't be wasting money away like that. No sweets for a month."

"A whole month?!" Noah slouched in his chair.

"For being rude to an adult that's adequate punishment." His mom agreed.

"So you were betting that Jake could beat someone in the cages?" Kyle asked.

"Yea." Noah mumbled. "They first challenged him to pitch connections in the 100 mph cage which he won by foul tipping all of them. Then we did double or nothing but this time only hits count. His bat broke after eight hits, just one away from tying it. They grabbed my money and ran off."

"A loser is still a loser." Dave laughed out. "Did you know the guys? Were they older or younger?"

"They were some kids from a high school. The guy that went up against Jake was the cleanup hitter they said." Noah smirked. "I hope we play against them in a real game soon. Such wimps."

"It's a long season." Kyle shrugged. "We might get to see them around. Then we can make fun of them for losing to a bunch of kids."

Dave laughed. "That'd be great. Are we still doing that tournament before league play?"

"It's in two weeks on that Saturday." Kyle nodded."That's our best chance of running into teams we don't play normally."

Dave looked at me, smiling. "We'll put Jake in the stands to see if he could spot them. Then we could psych them out if we run into them."

"Jake wouldn't be in the stands." Noah disagreed. "He would be in our lineup. I told you he bats really well."

"Batting better than you is nothing impressive." Dave snorted.

"He bats better than you and Kyle, combined. AND he can switch hit." Noah looked at Zeke. "You have to at least let him try out for varsity. He can really hit."

Zeke looked at his parents then back to Noah. "I'll give him a tryout tomorrow after school during practice. But just because he's good in the cages, doesn't mean he'll do well in real scenarios."

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