Leprechauns showing signs of improvement in 2020 after taking 2 from Hudson Lake
LYNN STREET-It was a battle between long time friends as the Hudson Lake Heat traveled to Rocko's Park to take on the Lynn Street Leprechauns who were riding high after taking 2 of 3 from Twin Branch in Week 4.
Although this was a matchup between great friends, there is plenty of storylines surrounding the connections between the two teams. For those new to the league, the Lynn Street Leprechauns came to the rescue in 2016, just 1 day after the Bertrand Bombers franchise folded.
With the league office scrambling for replacement options, Dustin Curl got in contact with the commissioners office and within a few days had a roster, logo, and home ball park ready to go for league play.
The Leprechauns inherited the Bombers record but were able to make up a few of their games. With Curl at the helm, the Leprechauns struggled in their inaugural season as they finished the season with a 4-20 record.
In Lynn Street's first offseason, Curl appeared to make a big splash as he signed Free Agent Levi Miller only to trade himself, Miller, and Chris Plonka to the Heat in a stunning turn of events.
From the outskirts it seemed like that might be it for the franchise with their Manager trading himself. Historically, any time that has happened, it usually meant the franchise would be folding.
Current Manager Nick Brassell would end up saving the day as he happily took over ownership and managerial duties.
The Leprechauns would struggle even more in their 2nd season as they finished the year with a 3-27 record.
In Brassell's first full offseason as the head man in charge of the Leprechauns, he would end up making a big offseason as they were able to sway Bailey Rhed away from the Heat.
The addition of Rhed paid off in a big way as Rhed would help lead the Leprechauns to a 10-14 season which has been their best season yet to date. On top of that, Rhed would go on to win the 2018 National League MVP award which was a huge accomplishment for both Rhed and the Leprechauns.
After winning an MVP with Lynn Street, Rhed wound up back with the Hudson Lake Heat after an in-season trade during the 2019 regular season. Manager Nick Brassell fully understood the move noting that "Bails wanted to play with his day ones".
Lynn Street was able to find a solid replacement however as they signed World Wiffleball Hall of Famer Nate Hansen to a deal. Hansen has turned into the glue guy over the last 2 years.
The Leprechauns took a step back in 2019 with Rhed being shipped to Hudson Lake during the season. The Leps would go on to finish the season with a 6-18 record
Although the Heat were able to land Bailey Rhed for the 2020 season, Lynn Street was still able to make their mark on the offseason. They signed Levi Miller back to the squad after Miller led the Saugany Landsharks for a nice 2 year stretch.
With Miller back in the fold, the Leprechauns have certainly taken some major steps forward on the defensive end.
The additions of Miller and Hansen over the last 2 years played a huge role in their impressive Week 4 upset over the Billy Goats who won 20 games last season.
Despite riding high from their series win over the Goats, Lynn Street headed into their series with Hudson Lake as the presumed underdog. With these 2 teams being so close, it has been a running joke between the two that the Leprechauns have always been the Heat's farm system.
From the sound of it, Hudson Lake seemed to always get the best of Lynn Street any time these two teams have met up for a friendly scrimmage over the past 5 years.
With that being said, the Leps knew that a series win over the Hudson Lake would be a huge accomplishment on so many levels.
In Game 1, Luke Armstrong took the hill for the Leprechauns as he did a good job of setting the tone on the mound for Lynn Street. Doug Benner took the mound for Hudson Lake.
The Leps were able to play some small ball early as Dylan Kegley, Luke Armstrong, and Levi Miller all reached base before Guy Wilson plated a couple of runs in. Manager Nick Brassell followed that up with a 2 run Home Run shot of his own before "Zeebs" added a solo shot.
Nick Brassell added another solo homer in the 3rd before the Heat plated their first 2 runs across. Armstrong did a fantastic job shutting down the Heat offense as he limited them to only 2 runs in the series opener. The Leps went on to win the game by the score of 7-2.
Game 1 got a little chippy as Nick Brassell stated that "It was the most chippy game I have ever been a part of." Bails and Kegley showed off their WWE moves which did not please Mike Brassell.
Despite the short WWE incident, both Bails and Kegley apologized and were seen in the pool afterwards having a good ole time.
In Game 2, Lynn Street's probable pitcher Mikey Smith ended up being a late scratch as he was not able to make it. After pitching a stellar Game 1, Luke Armstrong took the mound again for the Leps.
Hudson Lake struck first as they took an early 2-0 lead before adding another in the 3rd. Nick Brassell got things going for Lynn Street as he hit a solo shot to make it 3-1. Levi Miller, Guy Wilson, and Dylan Kegley would then go back to back to back, giving Lynn Street a 4-3 lead.
Hudson Lake scored 2 in the 3rd and 2 in the 4th to extend their lead to 7-4. In the bottom of the 5th Guy Wilson, Dylan Kegley, and Nick Brassell went back to back to back yet again as the Leps tied the game at 7.
Tied at 7 in the 7th, the Heat played some small ball as Bailey Rhed pushed the go ahead run across for Hudson Lake. Jared Monhaut then shut the door in the bottom of the 7th to even up the series at 1 game apiece.
In the rubber match, ORWBL strikeout leader Ev King took the hill for the Leps. After holding the Heat scoreless in the 1st, Lynn Street would jump out to a 4-0 lead thanks to a pair of 2 run Homers by Guy Wilson and Zach Brassell.
After hitting those homers, Wilson was ready to party as he took a seat for the rest of the series as Kegley subbed in.
In the 3rd inning, the Heat lineup started to pick things up a bit as they scored 4 runs to take a 5-4 lead. Kegley would tie the game up in the 3rd before Nick Brassell homered yet again to give his team the lead. This time, it was a go ahead inside the park home run after a couple of missed pegs.
Both teams went scoreless in the 4th before the Heat plated 1 in the 5th to tie the game at 6. Brassell reached base before Jordan Peck delivered the clutch go ahead 2 run homer off of Doug Benner that would put the Leps up for good.
Hudson Lake scratched 1 across in the 6th but it was not enough as the Leprechauns clinched the series victory following an 8-7 Game 3 win.
The Leprechauns now have the bragging rights over their long time friends and will surely be reminding them of that.
Lynn Street has now won 2 consecutive series against the Goats and Heat which is definitely a great sign. With their recent success, the Leps have moved into 4th place in the National League as they are now only 1 game back of the 3rd seeded BFAM.
If this team continues to play at this level, Lynn Street could make a push for their 2nd ten win season in franchise history.
Manager Nick Brassell had the following things to say about his team's recent success:
"It was a series for the books thats for sure. Its nice to take 2 from those guys. We finish the season with EA at home before going on the road to visit the Goon Squad and BFAM. We are really hoping to surpass our season high win total of 10."
Brassell certainly has the right to be happy about his ball club as they have now won 4 of their last 6 as they went 4-2 against American League teams over the course of that span.
Lynn Street (6-9) will look to continue to push for the #3 seed in the NL as they will host Rolling Prairie's Emery's Army (3-12) on Sunday.
Things won't get much easier for the Heat (5-10) as they will travel to Magic Park to take on the Magic (12-3) where they will actually play as the home team due to complications with their ballpark.