Originally written in January of 2011…
Randy gripped the aluminum bat tightly in his hands. He stood next to home plate and stared down the pitcher. This was his second at bat in the game and this time he would get the hit.
In his first trip to the plate, Randy had gone down swinging. That kind of thing was always embarrassing for him. He had the best batting average on the team. So when any pitcher was able to strike him out like that, it was hard for him to let it go.
In the three innings since that strikeout, he had watched the pitcher. Randy knew his patterns now. And he waited for the pitch that would give him a home run. Okay, Randy knew that was unrealistic. Though he had a great batting average, he wasn’t a power hitter. He may not get the home run, but he’d settle for a base hit. A double would be nice.
Randy expected the first pitch to be low and away. There would be no need to even bring the bat off his shoulder. The man on the mound threw the ball and, just as Randy predicted, it was low and away. It was blatantly outside the strike zone. Randy smiled back at the pitcher as if to say, “I’ve got you now.”
The second pitch would either be a fastball down the middle or he’d try to make him chase a change up. Randy had to watch and he had to be quick. The baseball came and he swung the bat. He made contact, but the ball flew away just to the outside of the third base line. Foul ball.
Randy was getting fed up. He wanted to get the hit and get on base. He tried to stay calm. He knew when he got impatient, he got sloppy. But he couldn’t help it. This was his mission, to get a hit off this cocky pitcher that sent him down in the first inning.
The third pitch came. Randy didn’t think, he just swung. He made solid contact with the ball and it flew between the short stop and third baseman. Randy took off toward first. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the left fielder scoop up his grounder. But he would be on base long before the ball even left the fielder’s hand.
When he got to first base, he stood there and looked at the pitcher. The pitcher wasn’t looking back at him anymore. Randy just smiled again. He was safe on base. He got his hit.