Tiebreaker Game
 

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    Tyler's team, thanks to a three-way tie for first place in the second half of the season, got to play an extra game today to see which team would move on to play in the league championship game. The Cardinals had a couple of plays that, in the end, came back to cost them the game (walking in a run with the bases loaded, allowing a player to steal home on the throw from the catcher to the pitcher). It was a close game, however, and Tyler got the team on the scoreboard first. Prior to his first at-bat I reminded him of the $5.00 per hit deal that we made with him during the last game - and believe me, he had not forgotten (he was working on various ways to double that deal). He took a couple of balls before finally swinging at a pitch, but he just missed that one. He swung at the next pitch, although it was probably way too high to be called a strike, and connect for a beautiful line drive into the outfield that he was able to turn into his first double of the season. He was pumping his fists and smiling ear to ear after that hit! He stole third base shortly afterwards, and then came home to score the first run for the Cards on the next base hit. Tyler's second at bat (and unfortunately his last of the season) was almost as successful, but this time he hit the ball right to an infielder who threw him out at first base, although Tyler was doing his best to beat out the throw. Despite attempting a late rally, the Cardinals could have used his run, though, as they went on to lose the game 6-4.

Tiebreaker Game @ White Sox

Once again, Tyler started the game in right field. He didn't see any action while playing in the field today, however.

Tyler just missed a hit on this pitch.

Tyler was definitely concentrating on his at-bats today. He was looking for that extra $5.00 incentive.

Tyler swung at what looked to be a pitch high out of the strike zone...

...but somehow managed to connect with the ball...

... and drove it deep into the outfield for his first double of the season!

After sliding into second base, Tyler could barely hide his excitement - he pumped his fists and was grinning ear to ear for a long time.
After stealing third base moments earlier, Tyler came home to score the first run of the game for the Cardinals.
During his second at-bat Tyler swung at a much better looking pitch, and for a moment it looked like he would get his second hit of the game...
...unfortunately, this ball was hit at an infielder who was able to gather it in and throw Tyler out at first base despite his efforts to beat the throw to the bag.

    Despite a rough start to the year, Tyler's team had a pretty good season overall. They came together at the right time to go 5-2 down the stretch, which was good enough to get them into a three-way tie for first place. Although they lost the tiebreaker game by a close score, the kids all showed a lot of improvement throughout the year, and they had fun while playing.

    For most of the season Tyler seemed afraid to hit the ball. Although he went four weeks between hits, he ended the year with two great games at the plate - totaling 3 hits in four at-bats, including his double, with no strikeouts, a walk (his fifth time at the plate, but this technically doesn't count as an at-bat), and a ground out. I guess next year we will have to work out a system of bribes much earlier in the season! His fielding skills were more than respectable this year, as well. He caught pop flies and fielded grounders equally well, and didn't seem nervous doing so. His throwing needs a little more work, however. Plus, he wants to pitch, so he will really have to work on his throwing in order to attempt that. If he plays next year the same way that he ended this season, I believe that he has a good shot to make the all-star team (for the second time in his careers - he did so last year while playing coach-pitch baseball). Hopefully we can get him to attend some of the training sessions that the league holds over the winter to improve upon his all-around game. Then, next spring, he can tear the league up!

    Congrats Tyler on a great season!


 

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