Straighten it out

Back in the day this batter might have been urged to “straighten it out.”

Back when I was playing youth baseball with a wood bat in the dark ages, coaches and fans yelled things like, “Keep your eye on the ball” and “It only takes one.”

There was even an old, African American umpire who’d chuckle if I swung and missed at a high pitch, saying, “You need a step ladder to hit that one.”

Last week I covered a high school baseball game.

I watched. And I listened. Coach and fan sayings and bits of encouragement have evolved over the years. “Give it a ride!” probably wouldn’t cut it anymore.

As a public service, I will present some of today’s more popular ballpark utterances and define what they mean, tongue planted firmly in cheek:

“Nobody hurt!”: Four runs are in and the bases are loaded with nobody out, but nobody is bleeding and no ambulance has been summoned.

“Roll it up!”: The hip form of “Turn 2!” I still like, “Turn 2!”

“It’s all you!”: No idea what it means. It’s all up to you? It’s all about you? No clue.

“You’re due!”: Tantamount to, “Get a hit for a change.” Not a confidence builder.

“Nobody better!”: “You’re batting ninth, you’re hitting .150 but you’re my kid and I dropped a bundle on travel ball, so get a hit.”

“Win the battle!”: Sportswriters are warned not to equate children’s games to war. Folks in the stands say what they want, though.

“Find a way!”: A variation of, “Whatever it takes.” As a youngster I preferred a walk to a fastball in the ribs.

“You got this!”: Heard a lot in softball. Grammatically, I prefer, “You have this!,” but it’s a positive message and we can’t have enough of those.


The CBL tennis championships, which include Citrus Valley, are May 3-4.

The singles are at Redlands High and the doubles are at Redlands East Valley.


The Aquinas High boys’ basketball team defeated Linfield Christian 64-47 on Thursday, April 22. Sheldon Grant and Nick Hopkins led Aquinas with 22 points each, Rodarial Abercrombie chipped in with 11 points and Vugar Kuliev tossed in seven. The victory improved Aquinas to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in league.


The San Gorgonio High softball team lost to Bloomington 17-2 in five innings on Friday, April 23. Emily Mestas went 2 for 3 at the plate for San Gorgonio (4-5).


The Aquinas High baseball team defeated Western Christian 11-0 on Wednesday, April 21. Eric Bitonti and Augie Cowan combined to throttle Western. The win improved Aquinas to 9-1 overall and 3-0 in the Ambassador League.

The Falcons also crushed Garey 16-0 on Tuesday, April 20.

Bitonti drove in five runs for Aquinas while going 3 for 4 at the plate. Also for Aquinas, Landon Young went 3 for 3 and Kaden Willerford 2 for 4. Seth Rajacich allowed one hit in six innings on the mound and drove in four runs while going 3 for 4 at the plate.


The Aquinas High softball team routed Loma Linda Academy 18-0 on Monday, April 19.

Dannika Merlos led Aquinas with three hits and four RBI, Anissa Villalobos pounded out three hits and an RBI, Jaeya Butler had two hits and two RBI, Sarah Quiroz had a pair of hits and Elleana Navarro smacked two hits. Mia Castillo struck out six batters.

The San Gorgonio High baseball team defeated Rim of the World 3-2 on Friday, April 23. Christopher Salinas got the win on the mound for San Gorgonio and Aiden Caro went 2 for 3 at the plate.


The Citrus Valley baseball team defeated Cajon 5-2 on Thursday, April 22.

Riley Hunsaker led Citrus Valley with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate and Jared Snyder and Cy Robertson added two hits each. Blake Griffin earned the victory on the mound, improving to 4-0. The win made the Blackhawks 11-2 overall and 4-0 in the CBL entering this week’s play.


The Citrus Valley High softball team fell to Riverside Poly 5-0 on Thursday, April 22.

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