The Hitting Zone - Chapter 713 V2 ch185
Chapter 713 V2 ch185
Ethan gave the signs, while Garret continued to shake him off. The communication between them was undeniably bad. Horrendous. We were only starting the second batter, and Garret had to shake off every original sign that Ethan has called. It really messed with the flow of the game.
Garret agreed on the fourth set of signs, got set, and started his motion. He threw his fastball right down the middle, getting Korrey to swing and miss.
Garret caught the ball thrown by Ethan, then before Ethan could squat back down, Garret waved for him to join him on the mound. Ethan was surprised, but went to the mound.
I straightened up and looked to Noah to see if we should be going too. Noah was already one step ahead, moving to the mound. I hurried to follow. The first baseman, Luke, and our third baseman, Andre, also joined us on the mound.
“What’s going on?” Luke asked. He was a senior from the JV team and was probably on good terms with Garret.
Garret stretched his neck, rolling his head around. “Nothing much. I’m just getting a crick in the neck from shaking my head so much.”
Noah let out a laugh.
“Sorry.” Ethan mumbled.
Garret covered his mouth with his glove. “Just stop being so afraid. I know we’ve never paired up before, but don’t you know my personality at all? I like to be direct. Corner them, then throw the cutter. If they’re good right away, then start throwing the cutter.”
Ethan’s grip on his mask tightened. “I just didn’t think I would ever pair up with you.”
I felt a pang of sympathy. It’s got to be tough to be a catcher, and then even tougher to catch for the best pitcher in our program. Maybe even the best in the league.
“Okay, we’ll talk about in the dugout.” Noah offered. “For now, put away Korrey.” He looked to their circle. “Jason is up next, and I know Garret can strike him out purely on fastballs.”
Garret looked to Ethan. “For Korrey, I’ll throw another fastball on the outside border. Strike or ball doesn’t matter. After that, we’ll go to cutters. And like Noah said, straight fastballs for Jason. You just choose inside or outside.”
Ethan nodded and put his mask back on. He headed back to home plate while the rest of us went back to our own positions. After squatting behind the plate, Ethan merely touched the inside of his right thigh to confirm that Garret wanted to throw away. Garret nodded and got set. He completed his motion and threw his fastball outside.
Korrey did swing, but with him extending his arms to the fullest, he was abled to get a piece of it. He pulled the ball to his left. It was a low line drive, but with Noah’s grasp. Noah dove into the dirt, making the catch, and jumped up to show off the ball.
Korrey was sent back to the dugout.
Noah threw the ball back to Garret. “Two out, one to go.”
Garret grinned. “Happy to see you still have those reflexes.”
Noah laughed as he dust himself off.
Jason was up next. Like Noah said, Garret could handle him with just his fastball. Jason went down swinging at all three pitches, unable to keep up. Garret held them at zero for the first inning.
We jogged back to the dugout and prepared for our own at-bats.
Garret looked at Ethan as he switched his equipment. “Are you getting the hang of it yet? I don’t mind shaking you off, but it’s going to be annoying if I have to do that for every pitch.”
“If you have any questions, just ask.” Noah frowned. “Garret is one of the easier pitchers to get along with. The twins might not even be half as patient.”
Ethan swallowed uncomfortably. He looked back to Garret. “I’m actually not that confident. I don’t really know how good you are with your control. Your likes and dislikes.”
“Fast and inside.” Garret told him. “You can’t go wrong with that. It’s hard to hit something that’s coming at you.” He glanced at me. “Unless you’re Jake.”
Hearing my name, I looked up. “What?”
Garret put his hand on the helmet I was wearing. “You’ll hit anything within reach, right? Even if it’s inside.”
I nodded. “Yea. Probably.” I turned to watch Joey throw some pitches off the mound. “I might be a little more picky though. I can’t just hit any pitch out of the park.”
Garret laughed. “That’s what I’m talking about!” He gave me a slap on the shoulder, making me take two steps forward. He looked at Noah. “You have to do your best to get on.”
Noah rolled his eyes. “I don’t need you to tell me that.” He put on his batting gloves and headed for the exit with his bat in his hands.
Garret grabbed his bat and followed him out.
I moved for the exit too but a sudden hand held me in place. I looked back at Ethan, who grabbed onto my wrist. I forcefully pulled my hand back and he willingly let go. “Please don’t touch me.”
He looked embarrassed. “I just wanted to ask you something.”
“That’s not a reason to grab me.” I took a step further away. “I have to go get ready for my at-bat.” I hurried to the entrance of the dugout and stood there waiting for my turn.
“You okay, Jake?” Mr. Miller asked me in a low voice, standing right beside me.
“Did you see?” I asked back.
He gave a nod. “You handled that well. I’m proud of you.”
I sighed with relief. “He said he had a question, but I didn’t listen. My heart feels like it’s beating out of my chest.” I placed my hand over my chest. I just have to remind myself that he wasn’t going to hurt me. I think. “I had to get away.”
“It’s okay. I understand.” He told me, eyes on the field, watching Noah step up to the batter’s box. “Just forget about it. I’ll have a word with him and remind him that he shouldn’t…reach out to you like that. You focus on your batting.”
“You don’t think I’m overreacting?” I asked.
He gave a small shake of his head. “You don’t know him very well. You don’t know his intentions.” He laid his hand on my shoulder. “Look. You don’t jump when I touch you. Why do you think that is?”
“Because I trust you.” I answered.
He smiled. “Exactly. Trust is key in any kind of relationship. Whether that’s between friends or acquaintances. I don’t blame you for being weary around those you don’t know well. You want to protect yourself. And that’s completely okay.”
With Mr. Miller’s words of comfort, I felt more relaxed and less anxious. He was right, I’m not in the wrong for walking away. Ethan and I weren’t close enough to where he can just grab me. I just met him today; there wasn’t much we could talk about anyways.
I watched Noah’s at-bat closely, trying to learn a little about Joey’s pitching.