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#117 The Penultimate Inning…

Inspired by Lori’s heroically blocking home plate to stop Warner Bros. from scoring critical runs, we ramp up our game. Bobby Logan and Mike Cowan dig in over the next innings, bringing us to a six-to-six tie with two innings left to go.

The bases are clear when I come to bat. I’m a good hitter, but I’m not a power hitter. I connect on the second pitch, hitting a pop fly over the first baseman. I round first and decide to try and stretch it into a double.

As I run at full speed toward second, the second baseman crouched to receive the put-out throw, I hear my teammates shouting “Slide! Slide!” I’ve never slid before, so I figure this is a good time to start.

I leap, feet ahead of me, land and slide on my left hip, my left foot smacking into the second base bag, the throw coming in late, the second baseman making the tag too late, the ump motioning out wide to both sides with his hands as he shouts, “SAFE!”

Roars go up from the DIC fans. Sheepish, I get to my feet, take off my baseball cap and, shamelessly hamming it up, doff my cap toward the cheering fans. My thigh feels wet. I touch it, look down at my pant leg and see it’s stained red from blood. Tomorrow I’ll learn about sliding pads and will buy a pair. For now I don’t care.

Cowan is up next. He drives the ball to deep center and I score the go-ahead run. Warner Bros.’ fast-pitcher strikes out the next batter and we head into the final inning.


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