Chapter XVII How the Game Ended - The Rover boys on a Tour by Edward Stratemeyer

In the fourth inning Brill did its best to get in another run. There were two one-base hits made, but these were followed by a strike-out and two pop flies, so the hits availed nothing.

"Such playing as that isn't helping us any," was Dick's remark in a low tone to Tom.
"Well, those first two men up managed to find the ball," returned Tom, hopefully.

But if Brill had not fared well in that inning, Roxley did no better, so far as bringing in runs were concerned. But the Roxley batters found Phelps quite easily, pounding out numerous fouls.

"The score is two to two," remarked Chester Waltham, when the Brill team came up to the bat in the fifth inning. In this, with one man out, Sam managed to send a neat drive directly past the Roxley shortstop. He gained first with ease, and then, taking a desperate chance, slid safely to second.

"Good work, Rover! Keep it up!" came from one of his chums.

"That won't do him any good. They can't bring it in," called out a Roxley sympathizer, and he proved to be a true prophet, for the inning came to an end with no additional runs, Sam getting no chance to advance beyond the second bag.

"Now, then, Phelps, keep cool," admonished Bob, when in the second half of the fifth inning the Brill pitcher passed the first batter on balls.

"All right, I'll do my best," answered Dare Phelps. "But I must confess my arm is beginning to hurt me," he added.

"Do you want to drop out?" questioned the captain, quickly.

"Oh, no, not until they hit me more than they have," responded the Brill pitcher, grimly.

There followed one out, but after that came some free hitting which brought in two runs.

"Hurrah! Hurrah!" shouted the Roxley students.

"Two to four in favor of Roxley! That's the way to do it! Snow 'em under!"

"Steady, Phelps, steady," warned the Brill captain. But it was of no avail, and the only way Brill could bring that inning to a finish was by the clever work of two of the fielders in capturing two flies which looked as if they might be home runs.

When the board showed the score of 2 to 4 Roxley went wild once more, while the followers of Brill looked correspondingly glum.

"Maybe you had better give Jack Dudley a chance," suggested Bob to Dare Phelps, when the two walked into the benches.

"Oh, let me try it just once more!" pleaded the pitcher. "Anybody might have let in those two runs."

"All right, Phelps, I'll give you one more chance," answered Bob, somewhat sharply. "You know we don't want this game to go to Roxley if we can possibly help it."

In the sixth inning Brill scored another goose egg. Then Roxley came once more to the bat, and on the first ball pitched by Phelps scored a home run, amid a yelling and cheering that could be heard for a great distance.

"Whoop! That's the way to do it! Five to two in favor of Roxley!"

"Keep it up, boys! Snow 'em under! Snow 'em under!" And then the Roxley crowd began a song, the refrain of which was: "We're here to-day to bury them!"

The cheering was still at its height when Bob motioned to Jack Dudley, who had been warming up in a corner of the field, to come forward and take Dare Phelps' place. There was a cheer from Brill for the new pitcher, while Phelps retired rather crestfallen.

"Now, then, Dudley, put 'em out in one-two-three order!" was the cry.

"We've killed off one pitcher; now kill off the next!" came the cry from the Roxleyites.

"Take it easy, Dudley," warned Bob. "Give 'em your inshoot and that new fadeaway."

"I'll give 'em all that is in me," returned Jack Dudley, with a determined look on his lean, and somewhat angular, face.

The first man up got two balls and two strikes. Then came a foul tip, followed by another strike.

"Strike three! Batter out!" called the umpire.

"Hurrah! That's the way to do it, Dudley!"

The next man managed to get to first, but then came two more outs, and the sixth inning came to a close with the score still standing, Brill 2--Roxley 5.

"That's some lead," remarked Chester Waltham. "Brill has got to get busy pretty quickly if it expects to win this game."

"Oh, we'll get there, don't you worry," answered Tom, quickly, and then he shouted: "Go to it, fellows; go to it! Lambast the life out of that leather!" and at this cry there was a general laugh.

The seventh inning proved a blank for both teams. Brill, however, managed to reach second, while Roxley was pitched out in one-two-three order by Dudley.

"Well, Dudley held them down that time," remarked Dick Rover. "I hope he manages to keep the good work up."

"Yes, but a pitcher can't win a ball game alone," answered Chester Waltham. "You've got to have some good batters."

"Go to it, Brill! Go to it! This is your lucky inning!" yelled Tom, enthusiastically. "Get busy, everybody!"

In the eighth inning the first man up for Brill went out on a pop fly.

But then came a fine hit that took the next player safely to second.

Then Sam walked to the plate.

"That's the way to do it, Brill!"

"Now, Rover, hit it for all you are worth!"

It must be confessed that Sam felt a trifle nervous, so anxious was he to make some sort of a showing. He swung his ashen stick at the first ball pitched.

"Strike one!" came from the umpire.

"Take your time, Sam!" yelled Tom. "Make him give it to you where you want it!"

Whether Sam heard the cry or not it would be hard to say, but he let the next ball go by, and then repeated this action.

"Ball two!" called the umpire.

"Oh, say! That was all right!" grumbled the Roxley catcher. "What do you want?"

"Too far out," returned the umpire sharply, and then added: "Play ball!"

The next one was a straight drive, and Sam swung at it with all the strength and skill he possessed.

Crack! The ashen stick hit the leather, and the sphere went sailing far down into center field.

"Go it, Rover, go it!"

"Come on in, Orben!"
Paul Orben, who had been the player to reach second, was already streaking up to third, and by the time Sam reached first Paul was legging it for the home plate.

"Throw that ball up here! Throw that ball up!" yelled the second baseman to the center fielder, who was still chasing after the bouncing leather.

Then amid a cloud of dust Paul slid in over the home plate while Sam, having reached second, was legging it rapidly for third. Up came the ball from the field to second, and then to third, but before it got there the youngest Rover was safely clutching the bag.

"Whoop! Hurrah! That's the way to do it! One run in and another on the way."

"Keep it up, Brill! You've struck your winning streak!"

"Oh, dear! I do hope Sam can bring that run in!" came from Grace.

"It might have been a home run if he had only run a little faster,"

remarked Chester Waltham.

"Faster!" retorted Tom, quickly. "Why, he legged it like greased lightning! Most players would have gotten only two bags out of that hit."

Following this batting came another out, but then the next man up managed to reach first, and amid a wild cheering on the part of the Brillites, and a loud tooting of horns, Sam rushed over the home plate.

"Hurrah! Hurrah! Another run!"

"That makes the score four to five!"

"Keep up the good work, Brill!"

But that was the end of the run getting for the time being. Then Roxley came to the bat, and amid the most intense feeling Jack Dudley managed to pitch out three men in succession and the score went up on the board: Brill 4--Roxley 5.

"Now, fellows, this is our last chance," said Bob, as the team came in for the ninth inning. "Remember, one run will tie the score and two runs may win the game. Now every man up on the job."

The first batter for Brill in the ninth inning was plainly nervous. He let two good balls go by and thereby had two strikes called on him. Then he made a wild pass at the next ball, knocking a short foul which the first baseman for Roxley gathered in by a sensational running leap.

"One man gone! One man gone!" chanted the Roxley followers. "Now, then, get the other two."

"Take your time, boys, take your time," cried Bob. "Make them give you just what you want."

This advice was heeded, and as a result the next man got to first and on another one-base hit managed to reach third. Then came a one-bag drive that brought in a run and took the man on first to second.

"Hurrah! Hurrah! That ties the score!"

"Keep it up, Brill! Bring in all the runs you can!"

Following the bringing in of the tying run, there came some field play between the pitcher and the basemen, and as a result the man who had reached first was called out trying to steal second. In the mean time the other runner tried to steal home, but had to stay on third.

"Be careful, boys, be careful," pleaded Bob, and then a few seconds later came another base hit which brought in another run.

"Good! Good! That's the way to do it, Brill!"

"That makes the score six to five in favor of Brill!"

"Bring in half a dozen more while you are at it!"

"Hold them down. Don't let them get another run," pleaded the captain of Roxley's nine to his men.

"We're going to make a dozen more," announced Tom Rover, gaily. But this was not to be, and a few minutes later the inning came to an end with the score standing: Brill 6--Roxley 5.

"Now, then, Roxley, one run to tie the score and two to win the game!"

was the cry from the visitors.

"Lam out a couple of homers!"

"Show 'em where the back fence is!"

In that ninth inning Roxley came to the bat with a "do-or-die" look.

"Now watch yourself, Dudley," whispered Bob to the pitcher. "Don't let them rattle you."

"They are not going to rattle me," answered Dudley. Yet it was plainly to be seen that the sophomore was nervous, and that the strain of the situation was beginning to tell upon him. Nevertheless, amid a wild cheering on the part of Brill, he struck out the first man up.

"That's the way to do it, Brill!"

"It's all over but the shouting!" shrieked one Brill sympathizer.

"Not much! Here is where we make half a dozen runs!" yelled a Roxleyite.

The next batter up was a notoriously hard hitter. Dudley was afraid to give him something easy, and as a consequence the pitcher had four balls called on him and the batter went to first. Then came a drive to center field which took the man on first to second, while the batter reached first with ease.

"That's the way to do it, Roxley! Now you've got 'em going!"

With only one man out and two men on bases, Jack Dudley was more nervous than ever. Yet Bob did not have the heart to take him out of the box, and, besides, he had no pitcher on hand who was any better.

"Hold 'em down, Dudley! Hold 'em down!" pleaded the captain. "Don't feed 'em any easy ones." And the pitcher nodded grimly, being too nervous to even answer.

A ball was called and then a strike. Then Dudley fed the batter a straight one. Crack! The ashen stick met the sphere and sent it along just inside the third base line.

"Run! Everybody run!" was the yell from the Roxley contingent, and while the batter dropped his stick and sped toward first, the man on that bag legged it for second and the man on second rushed madly toward third.

For one brief instant it looked as if one, and possibly two, runs would be scored. But then, Sam, playing a little off third, made a wild leap into the air and pulled down the ball. Next, like a flash, he tagged the man sliding in toward the third bag.

"Batter out! Runner out!" announced the umpire.

"Hurrah! Hurrah! Brill wins the game!"

"Say! that was a dandy catch by Rover, wasn't it?"

"Yes. And how neatly he put that runner out, too!"

And then as the score, Brill 6--Roxley 5, was placed on the big board a wild yelling, tooting of horns, and sounding of rattles rent the air.

Once more Brill had vanquished its old opponent.
And everybody said that Sam Rover was the hero of the occasion.