Finally! For the first time all season, John and the Mighty Mussels baseball team earned a real victory. (We had a questionable win earlier in the year in a game that each team counted as a win in their own leagues due to some technicalities.) So Tuesday night’s frigid game was the first real win of the year that the kids could celebrate.

Most baseball leagues do not go this deep into the fall, but we were playing a final game later than expected due to a rainout. An extremely rare massive cold spell has Austin in the 30s at night and barely creeping into the low 50s in the daytime. This made for really interesting baseball conditions.

We played well and took a 9-4 lead into the final inning (the third inning… yes, it takes 90 minutes to play 3 innings at this level). But we coughed up 5 runs in the top of the third, and failed to score in our home half, leaving us tied at 9. I went out to accept the tie—happily, I might add, because it would still have been our best outcome of the year—but the opposing coach and umpire proposed playing an extra inning with special rules. Each team would start with the bases loaded and two outs, and see how many runs they could score before the out was recorded.

The Hooks scored only once on a wild pitch, giving them a 10-9 lead. In our half, Hudson got a base hit, tying up the game. John was the runner on second base and narrowly avoided being tagged out in a temporary moment of confusion. But he safely scampered to third. Ethan then batted, and took four straight balls to forced in John, who trotted home from third and touched home plate as the boys mobbed each other in celebration.

After the exciting finish, the team was treated to Andy’s Frozen Custard and said their goodbyes for the season.

On the year, the Mighty Mussels officially went 2-7, finishing in last place in the 4-team division. But the worst we ever lost by was 4 runs. Just like last spring with the Rockies, we were right in every game.

That brings my career baseball managerial record to 6-27-1 🤣.

On the season, John batted .214 with 7 walks, bringing his OBP up to .476. He scored at least 5 runs and stole at least 5 bases, and drove in about 3 runs, by my count. Not a bad showing for the youngest player in the entire league, making the kid-pitch cut-off by a single day. For his career, John is now batting .644 in 132 official at-bats between the Blue Jays, Twins, Rockies, and Mighty Mussels.

We now have a couple months of freedom before the spring season assessments in February!