NEW CARLISLE - League offices have announced that the Olive Township Mechanics will be returning to the Old Republic Wiffleball League following their one-year hiatus.
Olive Township's return helps fill the empty void left by both South Bend and Rolling Prairie, as both of those teams have announced they will not be participating in 2019. The Mechanics' return marks the 13th confirmed team for next season, and it certainly adds some security regarding the uncertainty with the Cabo Yabos.
The news came via the ORWBL official twitter account on September 9th. League offices also confirmed the rumor that the Twin Branch Billy Goats would be moving to the AL. With the Mechanics return to the National League, this move made complete sense to maintain a competitive balance.
As for what the Mechanics will look like in 2019, it was announced former manager Aidan Cotter would be returning at the helm. The former Manager of the Year spent 2018 as the ace for the South Bend Muffs, as well as setting a career best in batting average, batting .586.
Olive Township also announced franchise mainstays Kody Webb, Colton Boren, and Jacob Hughes would be returning in 2019. Webb and Boren spent 2018 helping lead the Sauagany Lake Landsharks to a 15-9 record. Both players were integral parts of the Landsharks success, and their departure may create something of a rivalry between these two National League teams.
Hughes, on the other hand, didn't play much this past season as he was a member of a South Shore Silver Sluggers. After playing heavily his first two seasons he managed just 7 games played last year but figures to play more with Olive's return.
Joining the Mechanics ORWBL team for the first time will be former Jet City Junkballer and Muff Garrett Ruiz. Ruiz really exploded onto the scene in limited action this past season, as he finished second in the league in batting average at .614 and managed to belt out 21 homeruns in just 12 games played. Ruiz figures to have a big year playing at a hitter-friendly park next season.
Overall the Mechanics are a welcome addition to the Old Republic Wiffleball League, as they're expected to be another solid addition to an already tough National League which features top teams such as Granger, New Carlisle, and Saugany Lake.