Character. Thats what was displayed today in our game against Canada. We had played Canada so many times before today that we knew everybody they had, except one and he was their starting pitcher today. He dealt against us at the beginning and kept all of our hitters off balance and we were unable to do anything.
Brett Anderson was our starter and did a great job. He gave up four runs somewhat early but really shut them down when we really really needed it. I think we put up a couple of runs and then Brett would come in and get a shutout inning. He kept us in the game when we needed it too. Then, in the sixth, I came in with two outs and runners at first and third. Adam Stern was up to bat, also a former Cornhusker. I was able to get him to strike out looking. Our team then managed to put up a couple runs in the 7th and another one in the bottom of the eighth. So then I went out for the ninth to try and close the deal. I think that was the most nervous I have been in a long time. In the last inning I got the first guy to fly out to right. Then the next guy gets a hit. I then struck out the next guy. So there is a runner on first and two outs and Stubby Clapp came up to bat.
History has it that Stubby has had some heroic moments before when playing against USA. So I knew it was going to be tough. But there is something that happened during this at bat that I have never done before. I got on the rubber in the wind up instead of the stretch. Everyone started yelling step off, step off. So I looked at the runner at first thinking he was taking off when it occurred to me that I was in the wind up. So, while trying not to panic, I was yelling at our catcher to call time-out. I actually balked a couple of times I think before I stepped off the mound correctly. The umpires did not call it at all though, thank goodness.
Anyways, I get a full count of Stubby and I shake to a slider, and he ropes it down the right field line. I couldn’t believe he I just hung that slider. Clear down the right field corner and just foul. He then fouls off the next pitch and the next pitch after that is a fastball on the outside part of the plate. He flew out to left and we beat Canada. It was a big time must-win situation and we pulled through. We still have a chance to play for a medal if we can keep it going.
Character. It’s what we showed out there today. It was a great team win. I really think we can keep this going.