Diamond Diary by Kevin Cooney



April 3, 2003

Rock Me Like A Hurricane!

"Yo, his palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy... ...Mom's forgettin' he's nervous... But on the surface he looks calm and ready..."

"...The moment...you own it. You better never let it go... You only get one shot, do not miss your chance... Cuz opportunity comes once in a lifetime!"

"You can do anything you set your mind to, man."

Eminem must be a baseball fan!

Danny Core...in the middle of a gem...no hits into the fifth, up 3-0 thanks to Rusty Brown. Now it's the ninth, 3-3. The bell rings for Danny again, but Miami answers with two singles...first and third, nobody out! Put us on your back Dan! Strike three!! One out. Core's about due to hit a batter...there it is! Bases loaded. One out...fast runner at the plate...infield half way, tough to turn two.

Here comes Saxton. Is his heart even beating? Strike three!!! Two outs...freshman phenom, National Player-of-the-Week Ryan Braun at the plate...no place to put him. Ball one! Ball two! ("palms are sweaty, knees are weak") Ball three! What will I say to the press about another close loss and Miami comeback? The pitch...a seven second delay...Strike One!!!! Saxton's heart is beating! I'm not sure about mine! A hitter's count...3-1, another strike...Braun swings and hits a popup 8 miles high...Coxie's got it all the way! Inning over! Oh man!

The game goes on and suddenly the strike zone seems tighter. Saxton is 3-0 again and I head for the mound. Everyone comes together as I take off my hat. I tell Saxton that I don't do this in public much, but look at this dome! I could blame my Dad for the bald genes, but I still need to deal with it. Don't feel sorry for yourself and blame the ump. Deal with it! Strike one and Saxy's ok. I'm the shaky one.

The thirteenth! Shane rips a ball deep in the hole at short. I guess their shortstop rushed his throw out of respect for Shaen's blazing speed. His throw landed in the Miami dugout and O'Connor stood at second waiting for a pinch runner. Derek Hutton tried to bunt Joe Yeager over to third...his bunt went up in the air..oh no..but landed just out of reach of the diving third baseman, as Yeager alertly raced to the uncovered bag. First and third, Evan Brannon up with instructions to bunt to the first baseman and score Yeager with a safety squeeze. The pitcher runs the count to three and two and I figure we may as well let Brannon swing. He hits a smash off the pitcher into center and Yeager races home. Joe is a farmer's son from Pennsylvania. He sat next to my son after scoring and just kept saying, "This is awesome...this is awesome!" Matt Ryan came to the plate with runners at first and third. Matt bunted to the third baseman, Hutton followed him down the line and broke for home as the he threw to first. Textbook safety squeeze! 5-3 FAU 5 Miami 3, three outs to go. "The moment...you own it...you better not let it go". Saxton didn't let it go.

The performance last night was a great team effort. We played perfect defense, and did some little things in the clutch to win it. Guys came off the bench and contributed. We even picked off two base runners!! Orton came in for defense and gunned down a would-be base stealer.

I can't say enough about Danny and Chris' performances; a great example of clutch pitching and mental toughness. Those two guys were inspiring.

Lastly...a great FAU crowd! You guys were loud and filled that side of the grandstand. It was great to see.

Bruce sings about having to "Prove It All Night". That was done by our guys ... What a night! KC

 

 

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