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Wow, What a Weekend it Was!

Jacob, Gabe and Charlie watching Andrew's game and waiting for the Home Run Derby.
Last weekend was incredible. It was action packed, fun-in-the-sun, exhausting, and forever memorable.

Jacob swinging for the fences against the River Cats.
It started Friday night with Jacob's baseball team (which I coach). Our team was playing in the Inaugural Northfield Baseball Classic, a local double elimination tournament. In our first game things went back and forth until the final inning when we were forced to do something completely unorthodox. After scoring a couple runs to tie the game and then take the lead in the top of the fifth inning we realized that we were up against a time limit. So, I had two batters in a row intentionally strike-out. It was crazy. We rushed onto the field and our pitcher struck out the batter for our third out just as the time limit expired. Our kids were so excited!

Our next game was against one of the strongest teams in the league. It was a close game with some closely contested calls. Our team tied the game in the bottom of the last inning, and won with a bases loaded walk. All the kids ran out of the dug-out celebrating the walk off win. Unfortunately we lost both games on Saturday morning (one with the bases loaded down by 1 run!) and we ended up in third place for the tournament. Jacob did a great job and it was so much fun to coach those kids. They all played so hard and I am sure they will remember Friday nights action for a long time.

Warming up for the Home Run Derby.
Back, back, back...GONE!

On Saturday afternoon Jacob participated in the Home Run Derby. He hit 2 home runs in the first round as was part of a four way tie. In the second round he only hit one, but it was a great experience for him.

Line drive to left.
Besides Jacob's two games on Saturday morning, there was even more baseball action for our family. Andrew's team was also playing in the Northfield Baseball Classic. Andrew plays in the machine pitch division and this was the first time the kids 'officially' kept score of the games. Having a scoreboard changed the game so much. The kids (and parents) were so engaged in the games.

Andrew has a very good team and we won our first two games to advance to the championship. It was pretty crazy when I found out our opponents were the Maroon team coached by my friend and next door neighbor Brian. His wife Megan has a great write-up about our game on her blog.

Win or lose still good friends.
Coaches going over the rules before the title game.

All I can is "What a game!" My kids were losing 9-1 after two and half innings and they started to get down. Andrew had to leave the game after being hit in the mouth with a line drive. It wasn't looking good for us but the kids never quit playing. We fought back to 9-5, then 11-5, then 11-11, heading into the final inning. What a comeback! The Maroon team scored two in the top of the 5th to go up 13-11. We battled and tied it, 13-13 and had the bases loaded with two outs before our batter struck out to end the inning.

I got drenched by the kids after the win.
So on to extra innings we went. Maroon scored one in the top of the 6th and we came to bat down 14-13. Amazingly we tied the game and then, with runners on second and third, and one out, one of my best hitters hit a line drive single to left field for the walk off win!

The kids went crazy running out of the dug-out to celebrate together. And then as a big surprise they all poured their water bottles on my head and shirt. I couldn't stop smiling! I have such a great group of kids and an excellent coaching staff; what a pleasure it was to coach this team.

The little slugger and I.

The Champs. Black over Maroon 15-14 in extra innings.
As if all that excitement wasn't enough, on Sunday morning my friend Dave and I participated in the TOUGHMAN triathlon in Chisago Lakes. Dave has done all kinds of these but it was my very first one. Let me say, I might be hooked! I had a great time. The environment, the buzz, the swag, the challenge, the feeling of satisfaction - all of it was phenomenal. My goal time was 1:35 and I finished in 1:38, a time I am very happy with. It won't be long before I compete again.

Ready for my next triathlon.
My friend Dave and I post race.

1:38:05 and still smiling, almost to the finish line.
Then on Sunday night I had my last church league softball game of the summer. Playing softball is always a highlight of my week. I had a great game and even had a bases loaded single that ended the game by run limit - another walk-off win! Our team is a great group of guys and it is a bummer to have the season come to a close.

It was definitely a busy weekend and the time flew by. I will remember this weekend for a long time, and it will be the highlight of my 2015 summer. I'd be remiss not to mention my wife who's love, energy and sacrifice made it all possible. Thanks babe! Also, I'd like to recognize Megan, Kristen, Rich, Daniel and the NYBA who put on a fantastic baseball tournament.

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