By John Sherman
Erik Holloman’s “home-run trot” was more like a track sprint around the bases after his long fly cleared the left-field fence for an 8-6 State American Legion Baseball Tournament victory over Eden Prairie July 31 at CHS Field.
Why did he run so fast? Why not savor the moment?
“That was my first home run in two or three years,” Holloman said after his teammates mobbed him in a wild celebration at home plate. “I wanted to get there as soon as possible.”
Holloman talked about the strategy on his final at-bat of the game.
“My coach [Nik Anderson] told me to hit the first good fastball,” said Holloman.
The count went to three-and-one, and that’s when Holloman thought he would see the pitch he wanted.
“It was right there,” he said, indicating the spot with his right hand.
When the ball left his bat, it felt good. And there was also a good feeling in the Tri-City Red dugout.
“I knew it had a chance,” said catcher Nate Fredrickson, who was the first player to leave the dugout with his fists raised.
Eden Prairie’s left fielder quickly found the wall and prepared to jump, but gave up when he saw that the ball would land on the other side.
Just before reaching home plate, Holloman launched his batting helmet high into the air.
“I was excited,” he said. “That’s what the pros do on TV.”
After beating Eden Prairie, Tri-City Red went on to win state with a 6-3 victory over Ham Lake. Both Tri-City Red and Ham Lake have advanced to the Central Plains Regional in Dickinson, North Dakota this week.
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