Brady Harvie delivered an inside-the-park home run to cap Maine LIghtning’s Super 17 victory.
By Joe Hofmann
Right in front of everyone, Maine Lightning 17 Showcases’s Brady Harvie was gasping for air.
He was done high-fiving his teammates but was clearly outta gas. He was huffing and puffing, dying for a bottle of water and a seat on the bench to collect himself.
That’s a small price to pay when you just legged out a stunning inside-the-park home run.
Harvie sent a liner into the left center gap, sprinted around the bases, and made it standing up. It was the trip of a lifetime.
No wonder he was exhausted.
The two-run homer put a nice capper on his team’s 11-1 victory over the Taconic Rangers 17U North Friday morning.
“It’s nice when you hit the ball on that spot of the wooden bat,” Harvie said. “I watched where the ball went when I went up the first-base line. I got my wheels going and I saw my coach waving me around.
“I was gassed after that. I needed water. It felt good.”
How much emotion can a baseball player feel during a single at-bat?
Harvie ran the full gamut.
In a few glorious moments, he experienced incredible joy on a number of levels, from the thrill of feeling the ball hit the exact sweet spot on the bat, to the delight of watching the baseball split between the center and left fielder, to the excitement of seeing coach Chad Drouin wave him around third, and then speeding home with the exhilaration of knowing he was gonna make it.
And then, of course, the sheer exhaustion when he did.
Matt Ciarimboli rips a single for the Taconic Rangers in Super 17 action on Friday.
“I watched the ball hit the gap and I think they thought I was gonna hold him up at third,” Drouin said.
The homer put an exclamation point on the victory for Maine, which scored eight runs in the fifth, two in the third and one in the fourth.
Maine, leading by just 3-1 after four innings, took advantage of the Rangers’ reliever’s wildness to put the game out of reach. Maine’s Mikey Cammarota walked to lead off, Will Keach singled, and Sam Bradford walked to load the bases, setting up Anthony Cooley’s RBI single. Jeremiah Chessie reached on an infield error, winning pitcher Trent Drouin singled in a run, and Zach Jalbert doubled in two more, setting up Harvie’s inside-the-parker.
The offensive outburst made a winner out of starting pitcher Drouin, who allowed no runs on one hit over the first three innings before being relieved by Ryder Simpson, who gave up a run on two hits in two innings.
“We wanted to throw strikes and we did that today,” coach Drouin said. “We struggled with that (Thursday in a 9-3 loss to the Diamond Jacks Super 17U). “Pitching and defense is the way to go and we were able to do that today.
“Trent challenged guys and we played good defense behind him. Our second pitcher is a PO (pitcher only). We need to lean on him. He just arrived this morning. It’s nice to have a kid like that come in and pitch.”
Drouin sensed his team’s bats coming alive this week leading up to the game.
“I could just tell that we were gonna erupt,” he said. “We had some really good at bats (Thursday). I knew we were coming. It was just a matter of time.”
That time came. With a nice exclamation point at the end, courtesy of Harvie’s heroics.
“We have some good hitters,” Harvie said. “You could definitely see this coming.”