Myers Park Trinity was playing Regions Bank a few weeks ago when magic happened for Jackson Hodges.
The fifth-grader at Eastover Elementary, played the game of his life.
Hodges went 2-4 at the plate and drove in four runs. It was not his batting that made the day so special, it was how he avoided bats on the mound.
"He came into the dugout after the third inning and was saying that he had not allowed a hit yet," said his father and coach Hank Hodges. "I told him to not talk about it or think about it anymore, and he went about his business."
Jackson was unfazed by the mounting pressure. He took the mound pitch after pitch and inning after inning. This was going to be his day to shine, and shine he did.
A fourth inning walk was quickly erased by a double play. With the little league-mandated 65-pitch minimum approaching, Jackson had to bear down toward the end of the game, but the results were spectacular.
He threw just 58 pitches and faced the minimum 18 batters, struck out five, walked just one, had two hits at the plate and drove in four runs.
Not a bad day's work.
"I told him I was so proud of him," Hank said. "I was happy to have been there as his coach and his father. All of the other coaches and his teammates were so happy for him, it was a special moment for him."
Jackson has pitched since then, coming in relief to close out games. He has not allowed a run for his team, which is now 4-1 on the year and fighting for first place, but has given up a few hits.
The game that Sunday afternoon is something he will always remember and can always keep with him. "The best part is that it has made him want to work harder," Hank said. "He goes out and tries to get better now, and he realizes that it is the very beginning of his pitching career and he will have plenty of opportunities to do it again. Most people never experience something like that though, so he always will get to say he did it."