Monica is assigned to Earl Rowley, a crusty baseball coach. Bitter because his Vietnam War injury prevented him from pursuing a major league career, he pushes his high school players hard, especially Peter Enloe, the star player whose own father died. Earl is less than thrilled to have a female assistant coach but is told that Monica was the only substitute teacher who had a strong credentials in both history and baseball. Tess, in the meantime, accepts a position working in a sports bar run by Peter's mother, Laura. A few days before a crucial game, Earl appoints the young man team captain and tells him a college scout will be watching the game to see if Peter is worthy of a baseball scholarship. However, the coach also expects Peter to lead the team with his authoritarian leadership style. Prompted by Monica's history lesson that sometimes a person must stand up to a bully, the team captain takes a stand against Earl, which results in a fist fight and Peter's suspension from the team. While walking away, the coach collapses on the field and is rushed to the hospital. There Monica learns from Adam, that Earl is dying from pancreatic cancer. As he confides in Monica that the one time he let his guard down, a Vietnamese soldier shot him, he remembers that she was the one who saved him during the heat of the battle. He laments being spared since his life didn't turn out the wayhe had planned; she chides him for failing to take advantage of the numerous opportunities he had to positively influence their lives of his students. Although Monica reinstates Peter on the team, Laura realizes that what her son really needs is Earl's approval. She visits the coach in the hospital, to talk about Peter and is followed by Monica. But while the angel states her case, Earl's life signs diminish and Adam appears to escort him to the hereafter. Monica prays for him to have a second chance, a request that is granted. During the big game, the team is three down with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Peter is on the verge of striking out when Earl appears and loans him the wooden bat his own father gave him. The teen hits a home run, winning the game and the scholarship. Afterwards, Adam arrives to take Earl, who requested that Monica hold his hand as they walk into the light.moreless
Earl Rawley is a top high school baseball coach, but he isn't a very nice human being. The boys on his team are regularly threatened and bullied as as he feels this is the best way to get the results he wants. Peter Enloe, the star of the group, is headed for great things and is made team captain but soon falls from grace after an argument with the coach. Assistant coach Monica reinstates the boy but not before Earl has collapsed on the field and is rushed to hospital where Monica learns from Adam that he is dying of pancreatic cancer. Earl remembers his first encounter with Monica when she saved his life during the Vietnam war, a war that left him bitter that he could no longer play major league baseball. Can Monica help him again as he prepares to face his latest hurdle? Terrific episode with great acting by all involved.moreless
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