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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“Home-Field Advantage” Home Away from Home

It was a Friday night, and the stadium lights were brighter than ever. There wasn’t a cloud to be found in the sky. The wind was heavy, blowing the American flag to one side and blowing the infield dirt into the outfield. This was a big game for us. If we won today, we were going to win the conference. The tension on the field was incomprehensible – everyone knew what was on the line. The fans, the coaches, the parents, the students, and of course, the players all felt the magnitude of the moment. I was on the mound trying to close this game out. 

The scoreboard read “3-2.” The home team was winning. I used my cleat to dig a big hole in the mound, like I always did. I always did the same thing before every time I pitched. There was nothing like the feeling of the mixture of dirt and small rocks hitting your cleat. The sound it made was a sound that I’ve heard a million different times, and I’ll never get tired of it. I stood on the mound and grasped the ball, trying to get a good grip. Baseball is a game of feels. The more comfortable you are, the better you will perform. This field provided that for us – we were undefeated at our own field with a record of 14-0. 

“C’mon bud! You got this! Only three outs!” Aaron screamed, who was the first baseman.

I felt the breeze hit my body. I lifted my leg, and threw. I was looking at the ground and the next thing I heard was a loud popping noise coming off the glove of the catcher.

“Strike!” the umpire yelled.

The rest of the inning went by so fast. Next thing I knew, the other team was last to their final strike. I took deep breaths, trying to calm myself down as much as possible.

“Strike 3!” the umpire yelled.

We won. Everyone was screaming and yelling and jumping on top of each other. This field was our home. We haven’t lost on that field. After the game, my teammates and I stuck around at the field and talked to each other. 

“We truly do have home-field advantage at this field,” John said, reminiscing and looking around at the grass around him. 

We started to understand why our coach made us rake the dirt and tarp the field after games. We always had to clean up the dugout as well. And we were starting to get a better understanding of why. He always used to say “you guys need to treat this place like your home.” Now, it all made sense. This place was good to us – this place gave us the opportunity to be great. 

We loved our field. We sat on our field and talked about our lives for the rest of the night. This place made us feel like we were at home.

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