Friday April 7 2017
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Little Brother's Big Day

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Last year's baseball season got off to a bad start. The day before the season, I hurt my wrist fouling off a ball in the batting cages.

I didn't think it was bad, so I went to practice the next day and after my first two swings, it turned out I tore the same ligament I had strained a day earlier.

My season was over before it even began.

So I decided to help coach my little brother's machine-pitch team. He was 8-years-old and loved to play sports, just like his older brother and even older sister. Baseball's my game, and soccer is our 16-year-old sister's sport. But Ethan hates soccer and struggles in baseball.

His team was awesome: they won the league championship. E played tough defense and had one of the best arms on the team but he was in a bad slump. He always batted last and he only hit one ball fair all season long. Every other at bat was a strike out.

In the first playoff game his team was playing bad defense. Their star third baseman was dropping grounders, the first baseman flubbed two straight and the pitcher was having a terrible game. All of a sudden it was 8-3 and they were losing!

But they battled back and tied it. But there was only once chance left and the bottom of the order would be up, which meant Ethan was going to have to bat with the game on the line.

So it was the last inning and it was 8-8 and it was their last chance. The first kid got a hit. But the next kid got out. The next got another hit. Second and third. But the next kid also got out.

So Ethan comes up. Strike one. Strike two. I couldn't watch!

Ball in the dirt. “Good eye, E!” yelled the coach.

A perfect pitch. Another Ethan swing. Foul ball. “Way to hang in there, E!”

The next pitch came. Boom! Ground ball down third base!! Fair ball!!! Both runners scored!! Ethan did it!

My little bro drove in the game-winning run!! The two coaches high-fived each other and his teammates met him at home plate!!! My mom was cheering and my dad was smiling and my sister was so happy she almost cried!! Whoo!

Ethan didn't get a hit the rest of the playoffs, but he grounded out twice over the last two games. Two ground outs and the biggest hit of the season for the league champs? Good enough.

E's a swimmer now, and a good one. But he hung up his spikes a champion! Way to go, little bro!

-- David Hollar, 14, East Liverpool, OH