There it was. My name put up on the line-up sheet for the first time in my college career. I was so excited that I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. It was the second game of a double header on the second day of action for the weekend. The pitching coach, Andy Burschinger, came up to me as I was sitting in the clubhouse and uttered the words “you’re starting in left” to me under his breath so only I could hear.
When the game started, I was so nervous that I was throwing the ball all over the place in warm ups, just trying to lock in. My first at bat of the start was a laser to the third baseman. Great contact, but just right at him. I was just a little too anxious and swung at a ball down in the zone around my knees. Dang, still hitless as a Wildcat. While in left, I had two easy pop flies hit my way and I handled them perfectly. Finally it was my turn to hit again in the fourth inning. I stepped into the batters box, determined to get my first hit. There was a runner on second base with no outs and my job was to move him to third by hitting the ball either up the middle or to the right side of the field (second base and over). I was down to a 1 ball, 2 strike count when the pitcher left a ball over the middle of the plate. I jumped on the pitch and drilled it up the middle. My first thought was it was going to be a single and an RBI but that was not the case. The second baseman dove and barely touched it with his glove, sending it into center but not far enough for the runner to score. Still, my first college hit. I can barely remember what happened next because I was so happy, but from what I can piece together is that I got to second but did not score. I had another at bat in that game and ended up walking on a full count. This made me 1-2 on the day. Great first start.