A look back at the Newts vs. Magic rivalry
LA PORTE-The New Carlisle Newts and Maple City Magic met up on Sunday in a rematch from the 2019 ORWBL World Series. Much like all six World Series games from last year, these games were extremely competitive as two of the games even went to extra innings.
For those newer to the league, lets take a little dive into the history between the Newts and Magic.
After a few regular season meetings, these two hungry teams met up in the 2013 ORWBL World Series. Both teams were searching for their 1st ever World Series title but had both taken different paths to get there.
New Carlisle was making its 3rd World Series appearance in their 7th ORWBL season and were searching for their elusive 1st World Series title while Maple City was only in its 3rd ORWBL season after turning things around after an abysmal 12-30 inaugural season in 2011.
After dropping the first 2 games at Migley Field, Maple City was able to even up the series at 2 heading into Game 5 at Magic Park. Despite having all of the momentum from winning games 3 & 4, the Magic were not able to take care of business on their home field as New Carlisle won the game, taking a 3-2 World Series lead.
Maple City fought till the finish but it was New Carlisle who had come out on top in Game 6 on their home field as the New Carlisle Newts had finally broke through with a World Series title.
After that season, New Carlisle continued to thrive while the Magic sputtered. The Newts went on to win their 2nd consecutive World Series title in 2014 while Maple City began going in the opposite direction.
The Newts nearly pulled off a 3-peat in 2015 but fell 1 game shy of doing so to the Cult West Warriors. It was that season that the Magic finished the year with a 12-12 record with 6 of those wins being forfeit wins.
New Carlisle made a mega splash that offseason as they landed the Cult West core 4 of Scott Soos, Jay Ryans, Danny Hernandez, and Matt Soos after the Cult West franchise decided to hang it up after winning their 2nd ORWBL title.
In 2016, Maple City began to turn things back in the right direction after acquiring John Arndt in a trade for Drew Luther. The new look Magic went on to win the American League title, setting up a rematch with the loaded New Carlisle Newts.
That Newts team was way too much for Maple City to handle as they dominated the series from start to finish, sweeping the Magic 4-0 while clinching their 3rd World Series title at Magic Park.
After falling to the Newts yet again, Maple City knew that they needed more talent to compete with such a loaded Newts team. After playing with the Magic of St. Louis in Hometown Days, Caleb & Jared Jonkman signed with the Magic ahead of the 2017 ORWBL season.
The Jonkman’s were not the only pair of brothers on the team however, as Alex Friedman was able to recruit Anthony and Austin Rieff in hopes of landing their first ORWBL title.
It seemed inevitable that the two sides would meet up again in 2017 as both teams cruised through their respective leagues. Maple City won the first 2 games at Magic Park before taking Game 3 at Migley Field as the Magic were just 1 win away from winning their 1st ORWBL title in what was their 7th season.
After dropping Game 4, Maple City battled in Game 5 before eventually winning a tight one as the Magic clinched their first World Series title on the hallowed grounds of Migley Field.
Maple City continued to roll in 2018 after adding Shane Anderson and Drew Luther in hopes of landing both of them their first World Series title.
The Newts were not able to make it back to the World Series as the young Granger Panthers were able to win their first pennant in franchise history in only their 2nd season. Maple City made quick work of Granger en route to their 2nd consecutive World Series title, sweeping the Panthers 4-0.
Both sides met up again in 2019 in what would go down as one of the most competitive World Series in league history. All six games were decided by 3 runs or less as each and every game was a back and forth instant classic.
Both teams matched each other all series long, but it was Maple City who had the last laugh as they won the series in 6 games, clinching the title at Magic Park.
The parallels between the two franchises are undeniable:
-Both teams have won 3 ORWBL World Series Championships (Tied for most all time)
-4 World Series matchups between the 2 teams in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019 (Tied 2-2)
-Both teams have won 2 World Series titles against the other team (Each clinched 1 at Migley and 1 at Magic Park)
-Both teams clinched their 1st World Series title at Migley Field.
-Both teams clinched their 3rd World Series title at Magic Park
-Both teams won their 1st World Series title in their 7th season in the league.
-Both teams made two unsuccessful trips to the World Series before finally breaking through in their 3rd World Series appearance.
When you take a look at those parallels, you start to get more of an understanding of just how much history these two teams have with each other.
Like the past, this series did not disappoint as two of the games were extra inning affairs. The Game 1 pitching matchup featured Wes Ellis vs. Noah Shail.
Scott Soos got the scoring started early for New Carlisle as he homered off of Ellis in the 1st. Maple City answered quickly with 4 of their own behind homers from Wes Ellis & Jared Jonkman.
Magic skipper Alex Friedman added a solo HR in the 2nd to give the Magic a 5-1 lead.
The Newts would then receive a pair of 2 run shots by Scott Soos and Garrett Curless as the Newts tied the Game at 5.
Ellis hit 2 more dingers to give the Magic a 7-5 advantage heading into the 6th. Scott Soos and Noah Shall went back to back in the 6th while the Magic went down scoreless in the bottom half.
Garrett Ruiz led off the 7th with a single before Curless and Soos went back to back as New Carlisle was able to hold on from there, stealing Game 1 by the score of 10-7. Noah Shail picked up the win on the bump while Wes Ellis suffered the loss.
New Carlisle's momentum carried over into Game 2 as they scored 4 quick runs off of Anderson. Maple City would quickly respond as Wes Ellis, Jared Jonkman, & Shane Anderson each had some big hits early.
The Magic trio of Ellis, Jared Jonkman, and Anderson proved to be lethal as all 3 players each had 3 Homers, 4 RBI & 4 or more runs scored. It was Anderson's finest game of the season at the plate as he led the charge, going 5-6.
Anderson did a nice job containing the Newts offense that game as Maple City pulled away late in the game en route to a 15-9 Game 2 victory. Anderson picked up the win on the mound while Aidan Cotter suffered the loss.
In the rubber match, Maple City came out hot as they scored 4 runs in the 1st. Caleb Jonkman who arrived near the end of Game 2 got the Magic started right away with a solo shot. The 2x National Player of the Year would end up going 5-9 in the 10 inning marathon game, leading the way for Maple City with 3 HR, 5 RBI, & 4 runs.
The Newts offense sputtered early as Anderson really seemed to have their number. Maple City took a 5-1 lead heading into the 4th and that is when the craziness really started.
After falling behind 5-1, New Carlisle tied the game in the fourth inning. Curless led off the inning with a solo shot. With Soos and Connor VanOverberghe on board, Ruiz blasted a three-run homer to even the score.
Maple City would answer with three of their own in the bottom half, and the seesaw continued in the fifth. Cotter, Curless, and Soos went back-to-back-to-back to give the Newts a slight 9-8 edge.
It was at that point that Anderson was pulled for Ellis. After picking up the loss in Game 1, Ellis seemed eager to hop on the mound. He was able to get out of the inning with no more damage done as the Magic trailed by 1 heading into the bottom half of the 5th.
Soos held the Magic bats scoreless in the 5th while the Newts did the same in the 6th. Caleb Jonkman immediately tied things up as he led off the 6th with a solo HR.
Soos and Ellis dueled in extras, holding the opposing lineups scoreless in the seventh. In the eighth, a solo shot by Ruiz was matched by Anderson to knot it up at 10.
Soos and Ellis shut the offense down once more in the 9th inning as the game remained tied at 10 heading into the 10th.
With the sun beating down on both teams, you could tell that everyone was ready to go home. After Ellis held the Newts scoreless in the 10th, Maple City was able to clinch the hard fought series victory with one swing of the bat.
Wes Ellis would end up being the hero as he hit the walkoff Homer to center field as the Magic were able to get the best of the Newts.
Ellis's performance would wind up earning him Wiffle Talk's Week 5 American League Player of the Week honors as he went 13-22 on the day with 8 HR & 10 RBI.
All in all, this series failed to disappoint yet again as all 3 games were highly entertaining matchups. Both teams now sit at 12-3 heading into the final 9 games.
After going 5-1 vs. the Cyclones & Newts, Maple City will take on the Hudson Lake Heat (5-10) at Magic Park with the Heat being designated as the home team.
Meanwhile, New Carlisle (12-3) will look to get back on track as they will host their cross town rivals, the Bourissa Hills Wildcards (5-10) in their first matchup since 2018.