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By Josiah Schulz
Imagine this. Bottom of the final inning, your team is down 3 runs. Every single base is loaded, and you’re up next to bat. You are the single only thing standing in the way from a victory or a loss for your team. The stadium is so quiet in preparation for what is to come, you could almost taste the tenseness in the air. Next thing you know, you hear the loud “crack” coming from your bat. Home. Run. The fans absolutely explode in excitement and joy, cheering and chanting your name over and over and over again. You have single handedly won that game for your team.
This is a story that almost any baseball fan all around the globe dreams about frequently, perhaps even on a nightly basis. For Blue Sox’s shortstop Jose Rocha, this dream turned into reality. Rocha would prevail as the hero of our story, conquering the #1 team in the league, the Clover Hill Bucks.
Rocha would display an absolutely unhuman performance this evening. Out of his 4 appearances at bat, 2 out of the 2 hits he made contact with both resulted in Home Runs, subsequently RBI’ing 7 guys and demolishing an 8-0 lead by the Bucks.
After an even-keel and competitive first 3 innings, the 4th inning for the Bucks would prove to the spectators the eliteness of their team, and show the abundance of Clover Hill fans in attendance why it was exactly that they would travel nearly 45 minutes to Elkton for tonight’s ballgame. The Bucks would put up 7 runs in the 4th inning alone, ultimately crushing any hopes of a Blue Sox comeback, and all the fans of Elkton would pack up their things and head home… or would it?
Quite the contrary actually. Virtually none of the fans left their seat. No shouts of criticism or hate from the Blue Sox supporters, and most surprisingly of all, no hanging heads of any of the Blue Sox players.
In fact, after the 4th inning is when the Blue Sox defense really came alive. Elkton would hold the Bucks scoreless for the rest of the 4 innings left in the game, other than one sole run in the 7th inning. Meanwhile, the love and support of the Blue Sox fan base only grew larger and larger, constantly shouting words encouraging their beloved team and praying for a late-game comeback.
Their prayers would eventually be answered. The momentum of the game would slowly start gaining traction from a small snowball to an unstoppable avalanche. The Bucks would watch their 8-0 lead slowly get smaller and smaller. It would be the 7th inning for the Blue Sox that would ultimately change the tide of the game. A stagnant Clover Hill defense would open the perfect opportunity for a big time Sox comeback, not only on the scoreboard but mentally as well.
Entering the 8th inning, the score was 9-5 in Clover Hill’s favor. A line drive from Koice Quintanilla would RBI fan favorite J.J. Loker. This hit would lead to bases loaded, and next up to bat would be none other than Jose Rocha. Despite the huge amount of pressure on his shoulders, Rocha would tone all of it out, hitting a home run that would have all fans in attendance on their feet. With that Home Run, Rocha would complete the comeback, with the score 10-9 in Elkton’s favor. Due to RCBL’s curfew rules of games not extending past 3 hours, this would be the final inning.
“What was my approach? I was just trying to put the ball in play. With one out, I knew that if I would have gotten something to the outfield then we would have scored at least one guy. I tried to stay as relaxed as possible. When I get too tense, the ball seems to come faster, my head starts to shift in different directions.. But as soon as I heard the ball hit the bat, I knew the game was over. That was an awesome feeling.” Said Rocha.
With this victory, Jose Rocha became the Player of the Week for Elkton’s local newspaper: ‘The Valley Trail’.
The Blue Sox prepare for a double header tomorrow night against the Broadway Bruins @ the JMU’s Eagle Field at 7:30 p.m. The Clover Hill Bucks will try to avenge their loss against the Montezuma Braves @ Ruritan Park at 7:30 p.m.
Final Score: Elkton 10 - Clover Hill 9.
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