Warning: Motherly gushing to follow.
Last night was Matthew's first game in two weeks. I was a little leery about letting him play because he got burned really really bad on one of his knees. Both of them got burned, but one was blistered and sore enough that it hurt him to walk for days.
His team played against a team in the next town that always has really good teams that usually beat us pretty badly, so it was nice to see everyone play well and keep up with them. The score went back and forth each inning.
By the 4th inning, I could see Matthew was starting to limp a little again. His coach let him sit out two innings while he covered his knee with wet paper towels. The skin was dry and feeling tight. His baseball pants were rubbing it, too which didn't help matters. His team tied the score and they held the other team off in the second half of the sixth (last) inning and they had to play an extra inning. Matthew got up to bat and hit a nice double for an RBI, but he got tagged out when the coach told him to round second only to make him and the runner in front of him go back when he was almost half-way to 3rd.
Matthew's team was up by 2 runs after the first half of the 7th inning. Then I heard one of the Dads say to me, "Oooh! Matthew's going to pitch!"
Wha?! Huh?!? Matthew hasn't pitched since the beginning of the season! But sure enough, there he was on the mound warming up.
Honestly, I was scared for him. I knew he would be fine. I knew he could pitch, but under the circumstances, I was terrified for him. This was kind of a high pressure situation- for a ten-year-old anyways.
He had a great warm up. He threw pretty good pitches and had most of them right in the strike zone, so I relaxed a little. Then the first batter stepped up to the plate. I just hoped that he didn't hit any batters and that no lefties would be up soon.
Can I just tell you that he did AWESOME!!!! He threw three great pitches to the first batter. On the third pitch, the kid hit it right to Matthew, he flipped it to first and made the out! The next batter was an exact repeat of the first. His coaches were giggling like school girls and and hollered, "Hey Matthew! Do that again!"
The next batter came up and he threw a couple of nice pitches for strikes. Then he threw one low and outside. I could see a little smile of excitement on Matthew's face. I hoped he wasn't going to get over-confident and start throwing wild pitches or something.
The next pitch was right down the middle and the kid got a hold of it. It zinged past Matthew's glove to his left. The second baseman was right there, grabbed it up and flipped it to first for the out! 10 pitches to win the game!!!
I was so proud of him! Everyone was patting him on the back and cheering. It was a great night for him and one he won't forget for a long time to come. Neither will I.