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THE PINCH HITTER

on balls—especially as Blanchard, a strong batter, would follow him. Rather than take a chance of giving him his base, would n’t Jackson send him a straight ball—placing it as surely as possible right over the plate, trusting to the fielders if the batter hit it and to the umpire if the batter let it go?

“A straight ball,” Edward decided. “That’s what nine men out of ten would send.”

The ball came, straight for the plate, waist high. Edward stepped forward to it and swung with arms and shoulders and body; there was a crack that thrilled him; he had a glimpse of the ball sailing on a long low flight between right and centre field; he put down his head and ran.

The St. Timothy’s roar swelled and grew; Edward had a blurred vision of them all dancing and waving flags, a glance at Payne on the coaching line yelling and waving him to go on; then with his head down again he rounded first base and made for second, and still the St. Timothy’s shout continued undiminished.