The Hitting Zone

Chapter 951: V3 Ch185 Eastside College Prep (3)

Chapter 951: V3 Ch185 Eastside College Prep (3)

I nodded. Then cleared my throat, getting ready to talk about it as naturally as possible.

"A two-seamer ain't shit." Kyle rolled his eyes. "It maybe breaks an inch. I think it's the curve that's more troublesome. Especially considering how many right-handed batters we have."

Garret shrugged. "That's true. Jake was able to hit it and I even got a piece of it. Next time I should adjust my swing to be more prepared for a small break. Don't want to be grounding out all the time."

"I don't think I saw the two-seamer." Noah added his input. "Mine was straight up: fastball, fastball, then curve." He bumped his shoulder into mine. "I actually want to see you bat from the right next time to confirm that it was a curve. Maybe tell me that it's hittable."

I made a face. "Why would you try to hit the curve and not the fastball?"

Noah scratched the tip of his nose. "I don't know. Maybe because it's slower?"

"It is slower." Bryce mumbled more to himself than anything. "But the placement on the edge like that... too hard to reach." He clapped his hands together. "I'm going after the fastball. Forget the curve."

"What if he gets you to two strikes?" Dave raised an eyebrow. "Then there's a good chance that the curve is coming."

"If he can throw a curve in the zone like that, and the umpire calls me out on strikes, then so be it." Bryce rubbed his hands together. "But that's only if he gets me to two strikes. So far, none of us were pitched a curve in the beginning of our at bats."

"Yea, but that could change." Kyle pointed out.

"Sean and Alisha are keeping track of pitches now." I spoke up.

"Yea? Put that loser to work." Garret laughed and stood up. "I'm going to tell him what my two pitches were." He squeezed by.

I looked at Noah. "I think you should attack early too. If you just put the ball in play, you're fast enough to probably be safe."

Noah laughed. "I know I'm fast, but I don't think I can drop bunt singles all the time. Especially against a pitcher with so much power and speed. Dropping the curve on the grass will be easier for me."

We continued to talk about the pitcher and what we could do against his stuff. Unfortunately, it was talk that the first three couldn't listen to. Jason popped out to the second baseman. Korrey powered a fly ball to center which was easily caught for the second out. Then Jesse went down swinging, chasing after the guy's curve.

Bottom of the second. Garret would have to start against their cleanup hitter. It proved to be a tough batter. The guy fouled off a handful of pitches before earning a single. The next guy was also good, hitting a flare single to short right field.

My stomach dropped when the ball hit the grass. If I was Noah, it would have been out. Korrey came in and picked the ball up, throwing it in to Noah at second, preventing the runner from going to third.

"Next one! Next one!" Noah threw the ball to Garret and clapped with his glove.

Garret took an extra minute, using the rosin bag and walking off the mound. He seemed to be recollecting himself. I took a deep breath and tried to do the same. Garret got back on the mound and looked to Mitchell for the signs. Mitchell gave out a sign for the fielders for double play, then signs for Garret's pitching. Garret nodded. He checked both runners then threw his first pitch to the number six batter. The batter attacked, swinging and connecting on the first pitch.

Noah started to run back to center and I hurried to cover second base.

"I've got it!" Bryce called Noah off, making the catch while running in. Noah peeled off his run to get out of the way. Bryce threw straight to Jesse at third, blocking off any attempt for the runner to tag up and move on. One out.

Everyone got back into position. Garret stayed steady, checking on the runners to make sure there were no steals. Throughout the seventh batter's plate appearance, he did a couple of check throws to make sure that runner on first didn't get a huge lead. We wanted to turn a double play.

We got our wish when the batter got jammed on Garret's cutter, hitting a grounder to short. I raced to second as Noah got the ball. He barehanded it, throwing to me immediately.


I threw to Jason at first.


Double play complete.

We went back to the dugout in high spirits.

"Good hold." Coach said as we filed into the dugout. He looked specifically at Garret. "Don't forget that yesterday's pitches still count to your 110 pitch count. Don't be afraid to use the cutter more to jam them like that. If they could hit a grounder to Noah more often, we'll be in good shape defensively."

"I agree!" Noah grinned. "100%! Let all grounders go to me!"

Garret nodded at Coach. "I know. My pitch count got high against that cleanup hitter, but he's tenacious like Jake. Looking for a good pitch."

"Walks can be strategic." Coach reminded. "Maybe not in that previous situation, but keep an open mind."

"Will do!" Garret nodded.

Noah frowned as we took a seat. "Walks is the easy way out."

I shrugged. "I find them annoying. Especially with runners on."

Noah conceded. "That's true. Very much a downer." He sighed. "I guess I just have more expectations for Garret. And the twins. They're so good. They shouldn't walk anyone."

I let out a small laugh. "Garret said that cleanup hitter was as good as me. I think the twins would walk me instead of letting me hit as I please."

"Yea? Let's find out." Noah raised his voice to call them over. "Dave! Kyle! Come here a sec."

"You're just rubbing salt in their wounds." I shook my head.

The twins came over.


"Whats up?"

"Would you face Jake head on?" Noah asked outright.

Dave nodded. "Yea! Why?"

Noah looked to Kyle who hesitated.

Kyle made a face. "I depends. What's the score? What's the situation? Runners? Outs?"

"Would you walk him in any kind of scenario?" Noah asked.

Kyle nodded. "Yea. I can think of a few. Runner on second with one or no outs. Since first is open, walk him and try for a double play. Runners on second and third, with two outs. Heck, maybe even bases loaded and two outs, if the score is right."

"Bro." Dave shook his head in disappointment. "You're such a wimp. You're Bambi #2."

Kyle gave him a small shove. "Shut up. I just use my head a little more than you. I'm also realistic. Maybe if the game didn't matter, I'd be more willing. But playoffs? No. League games? Heck no."

Tanner struck out which meant Noah was in the hole. He started to put on his helmet at batting gloves. "Okay, okay. I get it. I was just curious."

"It also depends on the coach too." Kyle added. "Who bats after him. Just a lot of little factors can add up."

Noah grabbed his bat.

"Get on base this time!" Dave told him as he left.

I started to get my helmet and gloves out too.

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