Page:Baseball Joe on the School Nine.djvu/75

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"I'll try," laughed Joe, and he repeated the trick.

The man was easily struck out, and the next at the bat fell for a like fate, but the third found Joe's curve and swatted the ball for two bags.

"Oh, well, Joe just allowed that so you fellows wouldn't get discouraged," exclaimed Teeter as an excuse for his pitcher. "Get ready to slaughter the next man, Joe."

And Joe did. He was delighted to find that his ability to curve the ball, and send it swiftly in, had not deserted him during the long winter of comparative inactivity. He knew that he could "come back with the goods," and there was a feeling of hope welling up within him, that, after all, there might come a chance for him to pitch on the Excelsior nine.

The game went on, not regular, nor played according to the rules by any means. But it was lots of fun, and some of the lads discovered their weak points, while others found themselves doing better than they expected. Joe's side won by a small margin, and just as the winning run came in our hero was aware of a figure walking toward the bench on which the side was sitting.

"Huh! Starting off rather early, ain't you?" demanded a voice, and they turned to behold Luke