To Be in the Majors—Chapter Two—World Championships
Disclaimer: I don't own Major; I'm just borrowing some of the characters and the idea for my own fanfiction.
"Kenta, Sora, Jirou, Hikaru, Yoshiro, Norio, Seiji, Takashi, Ken." Koshimoto called as he assigned the starting players in the practice match against Kasaoka Little. "Get ready, you'll start today."
"Che, who's heard of an ace who doesn't start off a match?" Akira grumbled as she watched Kenta and Sora in the bullpen while the rest of the team practiced fielding while Ryoga, a six grader who usually played left field hit balls to them.
"It's only a practice game, Aki-chan, I'm sure Coach has his reasons," Shou calmly explained to his best friend.
Akira looked coolly at Shou; he wore the same Yokohama uniform as she did. The uniform was mostly white except for the small details such as the red Yokohama Little (YL) logo on the left side, the red cap, and red undershirt. She wore her hair in a high ponytail, rather than her usually low pig tails, and used bobby pins to keep her cap on without falling off when she threw a pitch. Her arms rested on her knees and she rested her chin on them as she looked at her teammate from the dugout. "Yeah, I don't care what his reasons are, I just want to play." She said mildly.
"Coach only allows a maximum of 40 pitches per person during practice games, especially if there's another game the day after tomorrow." Ryoga said as he returned to the dugout.
"Che, what's with those lame rules?"
"Lame?" Koshimoto repeated from where he sat on the bench in the dugout. His legs where crossed and he wore the same Yokohama jersey uniform, as well as his sunglasses. "If I were to put you on the field I highly doubt you'll ever surrender it, plus we have another practice match with Totsuka West Little later this week."
"Yeah, yeah." Akira said dully and referred to watching the other team. The coach was shorter than Koshimoto by at least a third of a meter; he wore the grey Kasaoka Little uniform and wore a whistle around his pudgy neck. He shouted directions to the nine players who scattered in front of the opposite dugout which they temporarily occupied.
A few minutes later Koshimoto reassembled the team in front of the dugout and walked to meet the other coach.
"It's been a long time since I've last seen you Koshimoto-san." Kasaoka's coach said as he took Koshimoto's into a handshake.
Koshimoto nodded, "same goes for you Watanabe-san."
Watanabe smiled and looked over Koshimoto's shoulder which was just in line with his forehead. "I see you've stuck to most of the line up you had last year, except Yamamoto-kun and Saga-kun isn't here are they?" His eye's quickly glided over the dugout pausing momentarily to meet Akira's eye and relaxed to look back to Koshimoto. "Junior League?" He guessed.
"Yes and no. Yamamoto Aoi's father's job transferred him to America." Koshimoto didn't smile.
"America…I see." Watanabe said lightly. "Since it's not a formal game, is it ok for us to start in the field first?"
"That's fine, then, we'll alternate sides for the Umpires." Koshimoto said and walked back to Yokohama's dugout to get his mask. "Hikaru you're up first." Hikaru nodded and Shou handed him his bat and a helmet. "The rest of you, make sure to keep moving." He order and walked with Hikaru to the home plate.
"Is it me, or is the Old Man grumpier than usual?" Akira commented.
"Coach does seem a little irritated." Shou agreed. "After talking with Coach Watanabe….but they seem to know each other."
"Our Coach doesn't like Watanabe-coach very much." Kenta stretched in his seat. "It's not like his team is all that great either, well except for a few; he's really aloof and uses sarcasm a lot." Kenta explained and laughed. "You can tell he's out for some of the team, you know, he wanted Yamamoto so badly, but of course none of us would go to him even if we were assured a regular position."
"Why is that?" Shou said at the same time Akira said. "How do you know?"
"Proof that man's a right out sneaky thief!" Jirou, said. "He's obsessed with obtaining good players." Jirou said with a tone of disgust. "I was walking home with Hikaru a few months ago and he appeared an almost begged Hikaru to join his team."
"Dunno," Jirou said. "It seems to me, he's aiming for the Little League World Championships. But for that, you have to be really, and I mean really good."
"I've heard of that," Shou said; on the field a tall boy threw a few pitches and Hikaru quietly swung his bat. "But doesn't Japan usually pick significant players from different teams?"
"Seems to me he's totally out of wack." Akira said before Koshimoto's whistle blew. She looked at Watanabe as her mind rolled over the idea of the World Championships.
"The game will be six innings, Kasaoka Little League will start on defense first and Yokohama Little League on offense. The first batter will be Arai Hikaru." Koshimoto introduced. A few spectators who came to watch the non official game clapped.
The tall boy dropped the powder bag and stepped onto the rubber at the same time Hikaru took his position in the batter's box. "Play ball." Koshimoto called and put on his umpire mask.
The boy nodded as he received a sign from his catcher and quickly pitched the first ball, high, inside, and near Hikaru's head. "Strike!" Koshimoto said when Hikaru didn't swing at the ball.
"Nice one!" Kasaoka's catcher threw the ball back to his partner. He studied Hikaru; he along with the rest of his teammates where warned of Yokohama's lead off batter. He looked back at Yori and gave a signal. A fastball low and outside.
Yori nodded and returned to a standstill before starting his windup. A moment after he released the ball, Hikaru's bat connected sharply as he hit the ball low towards center field. By the time the ball returned to infield he had already reached second base.
As the game progressed, Seiji batted second, Jirou third, Sora fourth, Ken fifth, Norio sixth, Kenta seventh. When the game reached the third inning, Yokohama lead by two points after Kenta walked three players and four base hits and two outfields, two of the outs where caught in midair.
"Akira, get ready, Kenta's reached his limit on the amount of pitches he can throw." Koshimoto said as he returned to the dugout after Kasaoka got their third out when Ken's ball was caught when it flew to center field.
"About time," Akira grumbled and stood up and yawned.
"If you're not up to it, I can send in Futa instead." Koshimoto warned.
"Yeah, I'm ready." Akira perked, and quickly took her glove and jogged onto the field, stretching her left arm all the while.
"Shou, you'll switch with Sora so get you're equipment on." Koshimoto said.
Shou nodded and quickly got up and went to retrieve his shin guards, chest protector, and mask.
"Koshimoto-san is switching out both Sora and Kenta?" Watanabe reasoned as he saw both Sora and Kenta sit down. "Futa seems to be still in the dugout." He mumbled as he spotted Futa still sitting.
"Coach, look!" Daichi, a tall player who plays shortstop said. "Are they putting out a girl?"
"And look at that short kid over there wearing the catcher's equipment."
Watanabe chuckled and put on the umpire's mask. "Yori, you're up next."
"There will be a pitcher and catcher change. Shigeno Akira for Ito Kenta, and Satou Shou for Koga Sora." Koshimoto said.
A low murmur ran down the audience and Kasaoka's dugout. Akira sneered quietly to herself as she tossed the powder bag up and down, in her hand.
"You ready?" Shou asked as he approached her with his equipment fully on.
"Of course," Akira smirked and dropped the small bag.
"We don't want to give anything away so just throw a few fastballs to warm-up." Shou smiled and handed Akira a ball.
Akira nodded silently and continued to stretch her left arm, walking in a circle around the pitcher mound. Shou smiled at his best friend's silence, he didn't need her to talk to tell how excited she was. It wasn't an official game but still a full fledge little league game with two teams and six innings on the board.
When Shou walked back to the home plate, he turned to Watanabe. "Can we toss a few balls first?"
"Of course." Watanabe smiled widely. "Her name is Akira-chan right?" He grinned wider.
Shou's eyes narrowed. "Don't throw her name around so casually Old Man." He said without his usual lightness and put on his mask.
"Here it goes!" Akira said as she started her windup, she quickly released the ball and it popped loudly into Shou's mitt.
"Nice one!" Shou called, and stood up to throw the ball back to her.
She grimaced and stretched her arm. Retaking her position she exchanged a few more throws with Shou. "Ok, ready!" She called.
Shou nodded and looked up to see Watanabe's shocked face. "We're ready!"
"H-how fast is that!?" Watanabe murmured and turned to yell at his dugout. "Check the radar gun!"
"I-it's 114 k-kmph (70.8 mph) sir!"
"It seems so much faster. As if it's in the 120s," Watanabe said. "Even so…"
Akira grinned, "So are you impressed Old Man?" She called from her position on the mound, and lifted her glove to receive Shou's ball.
"Play!" Watanabe said solemnly and cover his face with the mask.
"You see, my goal is to concurred the World Champs, and play in the Majors!" She said, as she started her windup. Yori bent his knees as he prepared for her pitch. Less than 3 seconds later the ball was in Shou's mitt.
Sorry that this chapter took soooo long to come out! I've re-written this chapter in its entirety almost five times! I actually don't know what was going on in my head when I was writing this! I was like oh! I like this, so I'll write whatever comes up! Yeah, Watanabe totally just popped up into my head and I liked him so I wanted to have him in this chapter!!! Also I never knew how hard it is to write a baseball game!! I know I was almost avoiding it this chapter! And I really don't know how I'm going to write a whole game…at least Little League is 6 innings, but if I ever get Akira into Major League…I want to hide in a small corner just thinking of it!!!
School's starting!!! Yes, I'm going into 9th grade this year! And I'm totally freaking out!!! I have 2 more days till school starts and I haven't finished my summer work (which is due on the first day of school!!!! YARGH!)!!! So I'm going to take the next two days off so I can focus on finishing the second book and working on my writing assignments! But I'll start writing the next chapter after I finish!
Again I'm really sorry that the "asap" I said last chapter turned out to a little over a week!!! But please don't hate me!!! I have a lot of things going on!!!
Thank you for reading!!! And please continue your wonderful reviews!!!