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HS baseball story

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by ccraker, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. ccraker

    ccraker Guest

    Hello. I am a longtime lurker wanting to get some feedback. I got ripped a pretty good amount for "focusing" too much on the kid that struck out four times and I am just curious what SportsJournalists.com thought of this story and what I can do better in the future.
    Thanks.


    BY CRAIG CRAKER

    Odessa High sophomore Derek Loera had a reason to be confident when he strode back to the mound in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday.
    Sure, the bases were loaded and his team was clinging to a 5-4 lead against rival Permian in District 3-5A action.
    But Loera also knew he had struck out Permian designated hitter Steven Acosta three times already.
    It took just four more pitches to strike out Acosta again and clinch the 5-4 victory at J.E. Pressly Field.
    “I didn't feel any pressure at all,” Loera said. “I just knew I could strike him out and I couldn't let my team down.”
    Loera (4-1) finished the game with 14 strikeouts, allowing just two earned runs to pick up the victory.
    “It was a big time atmosphere and a big crowd and he kept his poise and got after it,” Odessa High head coach Mike Munguia said.
    Loera was masterful after struggling in the first, allowing an unearned run to score on a balk. But he settled down and used his three pitches — fastball, over-the-top curve and changeup — to blow away Permian.
    He struck out at least two batters in every inning but the seventh, struck out the side in the fourth and struck out four in a row spanning the fifth and sixth innings.
    “It was just a classic, emotional ballgame,” Permian head coach Pete Southall said. “The only thing I don't want to see is us hanging our heads over this.
    “It was just a great atmosphere and I think every single person here had fun at some point.”
    Loera's dominating effort almost went to waste in the seventh when both Cole Chandler and Raul Armendariz reached on bunt singles, but Ryne Rice failed to lay down a sacrifice bunt and eventually flew out to left.
    Omar Olivas then popped out to the second baseman and after a wild pitch moved the runners up, Odessa High (14-7 overall, 2-1 District 3-5A) intentionally walked Fabian Rivera to set the stage for Acosta.
    “We had someone ready and would have brought them in if (Loera) gave up the tying run,” Munguia said. “He had such good success against (Acosta) that we left him in.”
    Permian (11-8-1, 0-3) led 1-0 after the first and 2-1 after the top of the third after Rivera doubled off the centerfield wall.
    Odessa High tied it in the third on a Daniel Rivas single.
    The Bronchos pushed their lead to 5-2 on an Eric Hinojos single and a Richard Cerda two-run double to left-center.
    The Panthers answered with two runs in the top of the fifth when Olivas doubled in a run and stole home, setting up the seventh inning theatrics.
    Permian sophomore pitcher Jerome Leija (1-2) pitched six innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out seven.
    Olivas led the Panthers offense, finishing 1-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
    Cerda’s 2-for-3 day with two RBIs led the Bronchos.
     
  2. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    I've just added my comments in bold
     
  3. MartinEnigmatica

    MartinEnigmatica Active Member

    I was debating this with myself, whether or not the don't-rip-on-HS kids rule comes into effect. But I don't think you're ripping on Acosta...it was really the story of that last inning. Bases full, up one run, a single could lose the game...but the kid the pitcher owned all game was at bat. ESJ's right on with the quote being set up - without it, you might make more of a case to change the lede, but it's good as is.
     
  4. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    I'm a big fan of making sure the first score is the final score. Instead, maybe go with a "one-run lead."
     
  5. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Mr. Craker -

    Thanks for posting in the Workshop and letting us see your work.

    My thoughts run mostly to your lede, where, even in a short game story, you can do a little writing. You don't have to worry about calling out the kid's 0-3 night if you recast him as a potential hero as I mention above. Also, that's a moment of perfect baseball drama, and the climax of the game, so don't be afraid to spend an extra five minutes on it as you write the piece. Great sports writers, even on deadline, will go back to polish their lede right before they file to make sure they've captured the climactic moment.

    I agree that the word 'strode' doesn't fit; nor does the phrase "blow away," since the game wound up 5-4.

    All in all an excellent and informative rendering of a game I now wish I'd seen. Thanks again.
     
  6. m2spts

    m2spts Member

    Methinks the lead is a bit wordy.
    Time for me to strode off to bed.
     
  7. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Way to help the kid out. Nothing like posting a response and not offering anything.
     
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