There's a chance we will win tomorrow. Not a huge chance, but a chance. Last year, in just the second round of playoffs, we lost 9-0 against them. They scored seven runs in the first two innings against my last year's #1 starter, a tall skinny righthander with a good arm. They ate him up alive in his last game in high school, as he graduated two weeks later.
After he struggled, I put in my little left-handed junkballer. They scored two runs in four innings off him. He kept them off-balance, he kept the ball down, and our solid defense was able to fend off any big innings.
I'm starting that little left-hander tomorrow, so I'm hopeful that our even-stronger-than-last-year defense will keep the game in check.
Offensively, we're in a much tighter spot. Last year, there were major league scouts scouting the guy who started against us, a 6'4" left-hander who threw 85. He pitched just three innings, allowing one hit, and their reliever did about the same, allowing just one more hit. We managed two hits in seven innings.
We're going to have to manufacture some runs, and hopefully run into a pitcher with some control issues. We had some really smart at-bats in the game yesterday, and must build off that.
I'm going to tell the team that tomorrow in the pre-game speech. I'm also going to tell them to relax. I think what can make us successful in this game is relaxing. The pressure is on them to live up to the hype and the press. The pressure is on them to win the state championship. For us, we've had a good year already. We're huge underdogs, just like we were in the game yesterday, and that's exactly where we should be. If we go out there relaxed and confident that we play the game well, then our emotions will be in check and we won't allow those big innings to take place.
Unlike other sports, anything can happen in baseball. The huge underdog Cardinals beat the Tigers last year, and they weren't even that good of a team. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays occasionally beat the Yankees. If we play a smart ballgame, we can win this thing. We're underdogs, but we're still a good team, having won 13 of 17 contests this year and advancing to the regional state playoffs despite being an underfunded team in the city. WE can win this game.
I still don't know who is starting at third base yet.
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