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Read The Hitting Zone Chapter 393 Golden West @ Servite 3

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Chapter 393 Golden West @ Servite 3

Brady almost copied Sanchez by starting off with a strikeout, followed by a baserunner. The only difference was that the baserunner reached on four b.a.l.l.s and not a hit. Some of his pitches stayed too low for the umpire. He didn’t have perfect control but like they told me, it’s a different style; it can throw off the hitter. Batter three struck out looking. Servite’s cleanup hitter got a piece of the pitch, sending it up the middle. It was too slow though. The shortstop was able to field it smoothly to the second baseman to get the runner from first out to end the inning.

Sanchez had a similar inning again. Strikeout. Walk. Strikeout. Flyout to center field. His speed was something to marvel at, but his style and form couldn’t be compared to the submarine pitcher. Brady was the first to throw a clean inning: groundout, pop out, strikeout.

Sanchez didn’t give in just yet. In the top of the third he struck out the ninth batter and restarted at the top of the lineup. The leadoff hit a hard, fast line drive, but it went right to the shortstop. Then Sanchez finished it off with another strikeout using a slider on the player that had hit the double.

Brady came out for the third time and looked a little shaken. The eighth batter had smacked a long fly ball to right field, making the outfielder dive for it to get the out. The ninth batter also made a good connection, making the second baseman dive in the dirt for the ball. He then made an excellent throw from his knees to first to get the second out.

Brady was doing well with the help of his teammates, but it ended when he had to start at the top of the lineup again. The leadoff batter slugged the first pitch to a gap in left-center field, right between the two outfielders. He sprinted and was able to slide into second before the tag was made, earning himself a double.

“Really pay attention now, Jake.” Zeke spoke up, making me jump. He didn’t say anything about it though. He was focused on the pitcher. “As soon as Brady gives up a hit, he’ll start using the other pitches in his a.r.s.enal.”

a.r.s.enal?

“He knows breaking b.a.l.l.s too?” Noah asked.

So that’s what he meant.

“Submarine pitchers can throw anything a regular pitcher can throw with maybe the exception of a knuckleball.” Willie spoke up, also eyeing Brady. “All their pitches look different though since it’s almost like they’re throwing underhanded.”

Brady was set to face the next batter. The guy he had previously walked in the first inning. Like Zeke had predicted, it was a breaking ball. I just couldn’t tell what kind. Scared that Zeke might quiz me, I turned to ask Noah what he thought it was.

“Your guess is as good as mine…” Noah shrugged helplessly as we watched Brady use that same pitch a couple of more times in a row in order to strikeout the batter to end the inning.

“That was his slider.” Willie said. “It runs to the outside but it’s hard to get the timing right. There’s a lot of deception when batting against a submariner. He also has a sinker.”

Noah leaned forward. “Should you be telling us this? Isn’t it cheating? Like gaining an unfair advantage?”

Willie laughed. “Just because I tell you what type of pitch it is, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to hit it. It depends on ability. And a little on luck.” He glanced back at us. “Submarine pitchers are especially good against batters that go against them on the same side. Brady will be good against righty’s for example. Too bad Sanchez bats right and not left otherwise he would have a slight advantage.”

“I don’t know about that. Jake’s good no matter who is on the mound.” Noah said thoughtfully. I judged him. “What? I’m just saying that you never really struggled against a pitcher Or pitch type. Speed wouldn’t work against you either.”

“You don’t know that.” I said in a low voice. “I don’t think I could hit a breaking ball if it’s too fast…it’s not like I can practice those off a machine.”

Noah nodded. “I guess. And it’d be hard to find someone to practice off of. At least you’re good with timing pitches. I still think you could figure it out.”

“Don’t give up before you even try.” Zeke’s firm voice let us know that he overheard us. He glanced at us. “Don’t be so negative all the time.”

Noah slugged me in the arm playfully. “Yea Jake, don’t be so negative.”

I rubbed my arm as we all started paying attention to the game again. Sanchez was starting the fourth, and he was getting rocked from the start. His center fielder had some work to do as he sprinted in to catch a line drive before it landed in the gra.s.s. The very next batter made that same center fielder run back to the warning track to stop a potential double from hitting the fence. That wasn’t the end though. Those were only two outs.

The center fielder couldn’t prevent the grounder that snuck between the shortstop and third baseman for a single. All he could do for the next single that came right up the middle, was throw it in quickly to prevent the first runner going all the way to third.

Two on, two out. One of the coaches came out to speak with Sanchez and the catcher on the mound.

“It’s a little late for that now, isn’t it? Back to back singles…” Noah shook his head. “It’s not looking good for him or Servite.”

“Not necessarily.” Willie countered. “Servite’s pitching coach is known for inspiring his pitchers and helping them push on. He’s a good coach. Too bad he doesn’t want to move to a higher level.”

“Why doesn’t he?” Noah asked, curious.

“He has a daughter still in elementary school. Not every man can give up their children’s childhood for baseball. Maybe when she gets older, he’ll move onto college level or even the minors. Too soon to say if he could coach at the pro level. At least with coaching at the high school level, he still has time to take her to and from school, and be home for dinner. There’s not a whole lot of time commitment needed.”

I felt a little sick at Willie’s explanation. Not for any new reason…just the thought of my mother saying that my dad had chosen baseball over us. Supposedly my brother did too.

I froze. Yea…she would say that…

Does that mean…she…knew..? Could we really be related to Patterson? Wouldn’t that make sense on why she didn’t want me watching and playing baseball? Because he left? With Dad?

My heart started to pound and I started to panic.

“Jake?” Noah probed. He was right next to me, yet he sounded so far away. “Are you okay? Do you feel sick?”

“Yea.” I stood up immediately. “I do. I’m going to find a restroom.” Without waiting for a reply, I hurried down the bleachers and followed the signs to the bathrooms.

I heard some cheering and glanced in time to see the Golden West batter head back to the dugout with his head down. He must have struck out. That pitching coach helped Sanchez finish off the inning.

A coach that cared for his daughter so much that he’s giving up the opportunity to coach at a higher level. To earn more money.

I picked up my speed and rushed to the bathroom. There was a crowd, but I forced my way to a stall just as someone came out. I could hear some of the boys and men say something about me cutting, but it was soon drowned out by the sound of me throwing up.

———-

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