The Hitting Zone

Chapter 48 Tryout 8

Chapter 48 Tryout 8

I felt like they went pretty easy on me for the fielding test. The coach just smacked a few grounders my way and would call out to throw it to first or second base. He'd occasionally mix in a pop up or line drive, but I didn't really have to dive in the dirt. Which is good I guess, since I've never tried. Maybe they could sense my hesitancy to do so.

"That's all we really need to see for now, kid." Coach Wilcox called me in and I went over. He stood with Mr. Miller, Zeke and Noah. I didn't even notice when Coach Luis left. Maybe they could see that he made me uncomfortable. "We'll put you on the varsity roster."

Noah started jumping around me excitedly. "Did you hear that, Jake? You made it! We win! Extra cookies all week!" At this point, I'm pretty sure all Noah ever thinks about is cookies.

"That doesn't automatically make you a starter." Zeke burst the bubble of excitement. "Some players go the whole year without seeing any official playing time. The first game will be the following Saturday in a tournament we're in. League play will start the week after that. So for now, practice hard and learn what you can."

I looked to Noah. I really didn't know much about baseball and league play. Heck, I never even got to watch a professional game before.

Noah just patted my shoulder. "Don't worry, I'll explain tonight after dinner. Just be happy with me! You made the team! As long as we get your fielding and baseball knowledge up to par, your batting skills can get you a spot in the starting lineup. Zeke is just being a negative Nancy."

"Ten laps." Zeke clenched his jaw.

Noah wagged a finger back and forth in front of him. "Nope. The betting terms said you wouldn't make me run laps anymore."

Zeke's lips twitched, almost upturning to form a smile. "I said for non-baseball reasons. These ten laps have a baseball related reason."

"Oh yea?" Noah glared at him. "What's the reason?"

"Jake is new. It's unlikely that his endurance is up to varsity levels. Show him what a lap looks like. Then you both can do ten to familiarize yourselves. You want to be able to play short and second with one another, right? Get going." Zeke turned away before Noah could even sputter out a reply. Mr. Miller and the coach laughed at the captains antics and just left us to go back to the team.

Noah groaned. "What a cheat. He's just bitter that he lost the bet and that he can't get me to clean his bathroom?" Is their bathroom really that bad? Mine and Noah's seemed pretty clean.

"Better get your laps done before practice is over, or you'll be walking home." Zeke's voice carried from across the field where the team was gathered.

Noah sent another wasted glare at his oldest brother, then turned to me. "Let's go put your glove back in the dugout and rehydrate. Every five laps is one mile. So we'll have to run two. It isn't hard." He walked us back to the dugout.

I was debating if now was a bad time to tell him I haven't ran such a distance since before my hospitalization.

We drank some water and I left my glove with his on the bench. Then he led me to the outer circumference on the fence that went all around the field.

"Let's do this!" He took off, leaving me a few paces behind. "C'mon Jake! Two miles isn't bad compared to the four I usually get. Zeke must be going easy on us."

Easy? I trailed behind Noah the whole first lap. By the second lap, I was gasping for air. I'm so out of shape.

Noah looked at me with concern, as he slowed up to match my jogging pace. "Do you not like running? Why do you sound so out of breath already? We're not even a mile in."

"Haven't. Ran. In. A. While." I gasped out, forcing my feet to keep moving forward. It'd be embarrassing if I was kicked off the team for not being able to run laps.

"You're kidding." Noah watched me struggle. "Maybe I should tell Zeke? This might be too much too soon."

I shook my head. Nope. I just had to fight against it. I forced air into my lungs and kept pushing myself.

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.