Finding that baseball instinct

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 21, 2000

Sports Editor

Every once in a while the planets align, everyone is holding their mouth just right, and something beautiful happens on the baseball field.

Well, maybe more often than that, but when it happens it’s really a thing of beauty and it’s funny how a single play can make it all that running around worth while.

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No, it wasn’t a game-winning home run or a double off the wall that scored a runner under a tag at home plate that I’m talking about it was a simple defensive play that pretty much saved the win for Goshen over Luverne Monday.

It was over faster than you could bat an eye, but when Averick Rogers and Russ Hamm hooked up on the double play that took two runners out of scoring position and replaced them with the first two outs of the inning you could almost see the morale drain out of the Luverne players and flood into the opposing dugout to rejuvenate the Eagles.

When asked about it after the game, GHS head coach Chad Dube made no bones about it, it was the play that won the game for them. And as a coach, it was nice to see some of that time drilling defense, defense, defense into his players heads turn into mark in the win column.

"That’s instinct and that’s the type of stuff we’ve been trying to teach them," Dube said. "Repetition is key in baseball. There are so many small skills that you have to work on, without repetition you can’t get better.

"They’re starting to learn," he continued. "Baseball instinct is one of the things that we’ve lacked, but with the experience and with the repetitions we’re starting to get it. You have to expect those plays to start happening more often."

Those are the type of plays that after you get finished doing them you look down at yourself and say "Wow! I can’t believe I just did that!" It’s like your body is moving on cruise control and every action is not your own.

You could tell by the grins on the two player’s faces that all the work in practice finally made sense. While the Tiger players looked dejected and practically beat by that one play, a new-found confidence could be felt by Goshen.

You can’t always win with just good defense. You have to throw in some offense around there somewhere, but sometimes those defensive stops are what fuels a player’s will and that shows up at the plate

It’s way to crazy to predict a complete turnaround, but it’s plays like the double play that Hamm and Rogers connected on that can spark a team to their full potential.