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 is dead. Earl is less than
thrilled to have a female assistant coach but is told that Monica was
the only substitute teacher who had 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 stance against Earl, which results in a
fistfight 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, the Angel of Death, 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 had saved him during the heat of battle. He
laments being spared since his life didn't turn out the way he had
planned; she chides him for failing to take advantage of the numerous
opportunities he had to positively influence the 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 the to talk to the boy 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 runs 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 requests that Monica hold his
hand as they walk into the light.