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Diamond Diary by Kevin Cooney

May 6, 2003

Three One Run Games!

We hadn't been in a one run game for quite some time, so I guess that made this past weekend even more exciting. We also have changed our pitching around lately, so we were faced with using a new closer in those games. That's great... break in a new guy in the toughest of situations.

Homecoming is always supposed to be a special time, but in athletics it is usually a game against a puff opponent. On Saturday, for Chris Pillsbury, it was a tough row to hoe.

Thanks to Mike Cox's blast to right center, we had a one run lead as we entered the sixth inning against JU. It looked like a good time to trot out our new closer, Chris Pillsbury. Actually, Chris had pitched the preceding weekend and earned a win and a save against Troy State. But this was in Jacksonville. There were quite a few people that were there mainly to see Chris on the mound.

This hasn't been an easy year for the Pillsbury family. Ken, Chris' Dad, has had some health problems. Nothing like a grown man forced to stay home, in pain, and on an ice cream free diet, to make life sunny for his wife. Add to that a son who has struggled on the mound during his draft year. A son, whom you can't be there to help, and so you try your best on the phone to make sense of what's going on in a frustrating season. None of this has been easy.

So there were a few subplots at work as Pills trotted out to the mound from our bullpen. Two innings later, we had a win and Chris notched another save. Two hours and two ejections later, I've got a great view of Chris as he leaves the bullpen and heads back out for another try at a homecoming save. He looked even better from 300' away. Win number two in the books, we headed to the Road House for a pretty good meal. I couldn't help but notice a real big grin on Chris' face as he ducked the peanuts I threw his way. Welcome home. Breathe easy Ken!



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