Magic win a pair of close ones to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series
LA PORTE- The 2020 ORWBL World Series kicked off on Sunday afternoon as the Elkhart BFAM traveled to Magic Park to take on the Maple City Magic for Games 1 and 2. It was a perfect day out in LaPorte as both sides represented well as this game drew a nice crowd.
Maple City's Wes Ellis was opposed by Elkhart's Walt Griffin III on the mound as both pitchers have really been having their way with opposing hitters.
Playing in their first World Series game in team history, BFAM hopped on the board early after Walt Griffin III and Brandon Terry homered. Maple City answered right back in the bottom of the 1st after Jared Jonkman tied the game with a 2 run shot.
Elkhart showed lots of poise early as they then answered right back with 2 more runs after Brandon Terry hit his 2nd Home Run of the game. In the bottom half, Maple City trimmed the lead in half after a Wes Ellis solo HR.
Ellis was able to settle in a bit on the mound from there as he was able to get the BFAM lineup to go down 1-2-3 in the 3rd. Maple City was able to grab their first lead of the game after Caleb Jonkman and Wes Ellis went back to back as the Magic took a 5-4 lead heading into the 4th.
Ellis was able to get into a groove as he was once again able to retire the side in order. Maple City tacked one on in the bottom half of the 4th to take a 6-4 lead.
Elkhart's Brandon Terry continued to swing a hot bat as he belted out his 3rd HR of the game, cutting the deficit to one. The Magic were able to get that one right back as Jared Jonkman provided Maple City with a much needed insurance run that would prove to be the difference maker.
After an Austin Traxler HR cut the deficit right back to one, Elkhart had an opportunity to take the lead as Brandon Terry came up to bat with the tying run on 1st. Ellis was able to lock in and record the final out against Terry as the Magic survived a Game 1 scare, winning it by the score of 7-6.
Maple City's Wes Ellis picked up the win while Elkhart's Walt Griffin III took the loss on the bump. Ellis who leads Maple City in Postseason Batting Average continued to tally up hits at the plate as he finished the game 3-5 with 2 HR, 2 RBI, and 3 Runs.
Caleb Jonkman recorded a pair homers as he continues to lead the team in HR during the postseason. Meanwhile it was Jared Jonkman who had the best game at the plate as he finished 4-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, and 2 Runs.
For Elkhart, Brandon Terry led the charge by going 3-5 with 3 HR, 4 RBI, and 3 Runs while Walt Griffin III finished 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, and 2 Runs. Elkhart's catcher Austin Traxler also added a solo shot of his own.
Game 2 action kicked off immediately following the conclusion of Game 1 as Elkhart looked to steal home field advantage by taking one at Magic Park.
Just as they did in Game 1, Elkhart was able to jump on the board early after Brandon Terry blasted his 4th Home Run of the day. BFAM was able to win the inning after they retired the side in order in the bottom half of the 1st.
After giving up a solo HR in the 1st, Ellis sent the BFAM lineup down in order as that would be the final time that BFAM would hold the lead on the day. Wes Ellis put the Magic on top in the bottom half as he belted a 2 run homer.
Elkhart was able to tie the ballgame up at two after a Walt Griffin RBI triple that scored Chaz Boyd from first base. Receiving his first start of the World Series, Maple City's John Arndt gave the Magic the lead with a solo HR. Maple City was able to tack on one more after a Caleb Jonkman RBI groundout scored Bronson Severs following a triple over the left fielder Brandon Terry's head.
Elkhart's Chaz Boyd cut the lead in half after a solo HR made the score 4-3. Maple City went down in order in the bottom half of the 4th as the Magic held onto a 1 run lead heading into the 5th.
It seemed as though anytime Wes Ellis needed a shutdown inning on the mound he was able to provide just that as he sent BFAM down 1-2-3 in the 5th.
Just as they did in Game 1, Maple City was able to get a little insurance heading into the 6th as Wes Ellis and Jared Jonkman went back to back to give the Magic a 3 run lead.
The Maple City defense held their own in the 6th as Ellis was able to retire the side without allowing another run. Ellis continues his amazing postseason run on the mound as he improved his record to 7-0 to go along with a stellar 2.19 earned run average.
After Maple City elected to go with a true pitching staff in the regular season, Ellis has grabbed the starters role and run with it as he is putting together a historic postseason run on the mound.
Ellis also led the way at the plate for Maple City in Game 2 as he finished the game 2-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, and 2 Runs. Jared Jonkman and the ageless wonderJohn Arndt each added a solo HR in this one.
Despite coming out of the gates hot in Game 1, Elkhart was not able to have their way with Ellis in Game 2 as they were only able to record 4 hits. Brandon Terry and Chaz Boyd provided most of the run support in this one as each of them had a solo HR.
After winning both games on their home field, Maple City is now just 2 wins away from winning their 4th consecutive ORWBL World Series title while they would also become the first team in ORWBL history to win 4 titles.
After rolling through the postseason in the past 3 years with a similar postseason lineup, Maple City has completely changed it up this time around as they have cycled through many guys at the bottom of their lineup.
The Magic have had a different lineup in 5 out of their 7 postseason games as they have been able to win a lot of games this season with many different lineups. Maple City has now used 19 different lineup combinations throughout the entire ORWBL season.
By taking the first 2 at home, Maple City will now look to clinch their 4th straight ORWBL World Series title at a 4th different ballpark, winning their first three at Migley Field, Panther Park, and Magic Park.
Meanwhile, Elkhart still has to be feeling pretty confident after giving Maple City all that they could handle in their World Series debut. On top of that, Elkhart is no stranger to being down 2-0 as they were able to come back from a 2-0 deficit in the National League Championship Series against the Granger Panthers.
Expect some more high quality wiffleball on Saturday as the World Series shifts one hour away to Manor Field in Elkhart for Games 3, 4, and 5 if necessary.