Best Case, Worst Case: New Carlisle Newts
Turn on those team twitter notifications - ORWBL is back. We’re counting down the days until the 2019 season kicks off on May 5th by looking at the floor and ceiling of all 16 teams in the league. Today we discuss the reigning Hometown Cup Champion New Carlisle Newts. We look forward to hearing all about wrong these previews are, and how your team is being “slept on” this season.
Wiffleball News Preseason Ranking: 3
Last Season: 11-13 (4th in the NL, lost to Granger in NLDS)
Notable Transactions: Added Ryan Gailher (Griffleball)
Key Player: Noah Shail OF/P
Lost in the midst of New Carlisle’s disappointing 2018 was the fact that arguably the league’s best player did not appear in a single series after opening day. The last time Noah played even close to a full season’s worth of games was 2017 where he batted nearly .600 in just 15 games. The single-season record holder for AVG. (Noah batted 0.687 in his 2015 MVP season), Shail is still one of the league’s premier players and the Newts absolutely missed him last season. Boasting perhaps the best all-around game in the league, having Shail return to action should be a scary sight for the rest of the league. Getting #5 back on the field will undoubtedly be a major plus for the former champs, and one that could vault them right back into the championship mix.
The Newts, aided by Shail's return to action, storm through the regular season in a tough National League. New Carlisle gets some lineup consistency, as preseason doubters awake a sleeping giant and motivate the Newts to return to form in ORWBL. Galiher builds off a stellar Hometown Cup run last summer and provides a nice boost en route to winning Rookie of the Year. Along the way, Koby Keck, Garrett Curless, and the Cult West 4 continue to cement their legacies in ORWBL record books. Their age doesn't catch up with them, in fact it aids them more than anything as they battle through a young National League in the playoffs. Last season proves to be an outlier, with Koby Keck raising the World Series trophy in August for the 4th time in franchise history.
With an average age of 30 and their adult lives taking precedent, the Newts struggle to find a consistent lineup. New Carlisle has difficulty fielding five every week, resulting in their second consecutive losing season. Mother nature continues to hate the storied franchise, as the wind comes howling into the friendly confines yet again. Their newest jerseys get put on back-order, Koby loses track of the cup, and Scott Soos continues to bald. Back to back losing seasons leaves the future of the franchise in question... and they still somehow win Hometown Days.