The most playing time in the season through 4 series for me came in Monterey, one of the powerhouse schools in our conference. My name was called in the ninth inning, yet again, for a pinch hit opportunity. It was a tied game in the top of the 9th inning and we had runners on first and second with 2 outs. The conditions were brutal down in Monterey. The ocean fog had blown all the way on the field, with any ball in the air being impossible to see. So naturally, that was my thought process coming to the plate: hit the ball in the air. Unfortunately for me, the left fielder was able to track down the ball and we weren’t able to score.
Our coach decided to leave me in the game for the first time after a pinch hit to play defense in left. Trusting a freshman was a big move at the time because this program is run by the junior college transfer player. In the top of the 13th inning, the game was still tied. There were runners on first and second with one out. The winning run on second base. A ball was smoked into left field right at me, but sinking towards the grass. I took four hard steps in and went into a full extension dive to save the game. Our dugout exploded with excitement knowing that we still had life.
Fast forward to the 15th inning, I got my second chance with the go ahead run on third base with 2 outs. Game was still tied. I worked my way to a 3 ball, 2 strike count. The tall left-handed pitcher came set and delivered: a change up low and away. This, however, was the exact pitch I was hoping he would throw. I waited back and barreled the ball up the middle and into center field, scoring the go ahead run. Again, the whole dugout exploding with life and confidence now having the lead in this marathon game. I ended up coming around to score giving us a 2 run lead. Now the bottom of the 15th was a whole different “ballgame”, if you will. Our 6th pitcher of the game got the first out, walked the next batter, and got the third batter of the inning to hit the ball right to the shortstop. He hesitated to throw the ball as our second baseman was late to the base to start the double play, forcing the throw wide right allowing both runners to advance. The following 3 batters all got hits, winning the game for Monterey. The result was very demoralizing for the team; however, I proved to the coaches that I am able to preform under pressure.