Cyrus Parsons wound up and threw another ball in the dirt just short of his intended target. Warming up to start as the Montesano Little League 11- and 12-year-old all-star team’s game against Centralia, Parsons had plenty of reasons to be nervous. The winner of the game on July 2 would play for the District III championship, but the loser would be done for the year, plus Centralia had already beaten Montesano earlier in the District III tournament. He may have been nervous, but that wasn’t why he was throwing pitches in the dirt. He was just learning to throw a curveball.
Yes, 10 minutes before the biggest pitching performance of the 11-year-old’s life he was learning a curveball.
“He had something off-speed, but it just sat there and spun so we just showed him how to throw it the right way without hurting your arm,” coach Corey Daniels said. “Just chopping the ball. Don’t rotate your wrist. Don’t rotate your elbow. Just like you are doing a karate chop and you will do a 12-6. He picked it up pretty quickly and he is just one of those guys.”
While he said he isn’t always such a quick learner, such as when it come to schoolwork, Parsons showed off everything he had picked up in the bullpen over the next hour as he struck out five batters in three innings of work against Centralia, keeping batters off balance with his new trick. Parsons faced five or fewer batters in all three innings on the mound and he helped his own cause with two walks and a hit at the plate.
Overall Parsons said the key was to just not think.
“I just didn’t aim,” Parsons said. “I try not to aim at least.”
The season ended for the 11-12 all-star team on Saturday with a 3-2 loss to Chehalis, but Daniels said he expects to see Parsons back next year and maybe with a little bit better curveball.
“We’d like him to be able to locate it, but beggars can’t be choosers with five minutes’ warning,” Daniels said. “He is going to be a heck of a player.”