EA-Newts rivalry among the nation's best
NEW CARLISLE - When Emery's Army travels to Migley Field on Sunday to take on the Newts,
one of the greatest rivalries in all of wiffleball will be renewed. The teams have met 43 times in ORWBL play, with EA holding a 22-21 advantage in the all-time series. Here's an in-depth look at the matchup and what makes this rivalry so unique. ORIGIN STORY Playing in their first organized wiffleball event, Emery's Army found themselves one win away from Migley in the 2008 City Championship at Hometown Days. EA faced a quarterfinal matchup with the New Carlisle Newts, defending tournament champions and one of the most prominent ORWBL franchises With New Carlisle facing elimination, EA outfielder Matt Zakrzewski dropped the potential final out over the fence for a game-tying home run. Later, Koby Keck would hit a walk-off home run to send EA home. The heartbreaking loss inspired captain Zach Blackwood to bring Emery's Army into the ORWBL for the 2009 season. They announced their arrival with a series of YouTube videos, which featured a barrage of insults toward the Newts. Couple this with the longstanding rivalry between the towns of New Carlisle and Rolling Prairie, and one of the greatest wiffleball series was born. ON FIELD COMPETITION This is the classic "throw out the records" type of matchup. Regardless of which team is ahead in the standings, these games are always a tight contest. In 14 series, only two have resulted in sweeps, one for each side. In the 36 games played since 2010, ten of the games have been decided by one run and 28 have been within five runs. Also in that time, the Newts have scored a total of 290 runs in the series, while Emery's Army has almost equaled them with 285. DIVISIONAL FOES Since EA joined the league, they have always been placed in the same division as New Carlisle to maximum the number of games between the two teams. While divisions haven't been utilized in the past few seasons, these two teams routinely battled for first place in the early years of the rivalry. In 2009, after splitting the season series and finishing the regular season with identical records, a one-game playoff was held at the Grassy Knoll for the Central Division crown. NEIGHBORHOOD WIFFLEBALL: Robin Court vs. Migleyville Both the Grassy Knoll and Migley Field are located in the heart of residential neighborhoods, bringing a stronger sense of community to both franchises. These two teams easily lead the league in attendance. Wiffleball gamedays are an event for the people in Robin Court, and no other team has a bigger traveling contingent of fans than Emery's Army. In Migleyville, neighbors often watch the ballgames from their decks, while a strong walk-up crowd often fills up the outfield bleachers. FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE Despite all the intense competition and tense moments on the field, things have never gotten heated between the clubs. No tantrums, no cheating, no taking a bunch of pitches, just friendly games of wiffleball. Spectators would have a hard time telling the difference between these games and pickup games, as the teams have been known to share a beverage or two.
Rivalry Facts & Figures
All-Time Record: Emery's Army leads 22-21 First ORWBL meeting: June 24, 2009 in Rolling Prairie (EA wins 2 of 3) Last ORWBL meeting: July 16, 2014 in New Carlisle (NC wins 2 of 3) Record at Grassy Knoll: Emery's Army leads 13-9 Record at Migley Field: Newts lead 12-9 Longest win streak: 5 (Newts from 7/7/13 to 6/29/14) Biggest Margin of victory: 16 (NC 21, EA 5 on 6/12/10) Longest game: 8 innings, (EA 19, NC 18 on 6/29/14) HTD Head-to-Head Record: 1-1