NEW CARLISLE- After 3 highly competitive games to open up the World Series, the Newts came into Game 4 with all of the momentum they could ask for leading the World Series (2-1). Fresh off of an 11-10 win, things were looking good for the Newts.
In Game 4, it was Maple City who built the early advantage. Magic Manager Alex Friedman pulled himself
and decided to utilize only four players, despite the ORWBL-style of play being designed to field five.
Friedman had gone 1-5 in Game 1 was starting to feel "numbness' in his left arm that he broke less than 7 weeks ago in 2 places which required 2 plates and 10 screws. After giving it a go in Game 3 he decided to make one of the most interesting managing decisions in ORWBL history.
The rule was intended for teams to avoid forfeits over the demanding weekly regular season schedule, but Friedman used it to his advantage to remove his relatively inexperienced bat from the lineup as he has missed his fair share of time over the past 2 years dealing with a broken left shoulder in 2018 and 2 breaks in his arm just 7 weeks ago.
Despite the Magic being one of the most active teams in all of wiffleball, Friedman has seen limited playing time over the past several years in tournaments and league play with injuries playing a major role in that as Friedman is on the all time top 10 list in HR and RBI.
The Magic skipper has also built a pretty deep team to the point where he is a bit lower on the depth chart. With Magic CF Drew Luther unavailable as he was dealing with a personal leave as he and his wife Pamela were preparing to give birth to their first son! This certainly left the Magic in a deep hole so Friedman figured to roll the dice and sacrifice a fielder to roll with 4.
Trailing 11-1 going into the bottom of the second, the Newts got back in the ballgame behind the bats of Noah Shail, Scott Soos, Danny Hernandez, and Garrett Curless with an eight-run inning to cut the deficit to two. Caleb Jonkman, Jared Jonkman, and Jeremy Ratajczyk had fantastic games at the plate as they powered through for Maple City despite the pressure to get the win.
The Newts and Magic matched runs the rest of the way until the bottom of the sixth. Chasing three runs, New Carlisle was shut out in the final inning and lost 17-14 when Caleb Jonkman put the nail in the coffin on the mound making 2 great plays in the 6th to seal the deal and assure that the series would be heading back to Magic Park.
With the series tied (2-2) it was time for a crucial Game 5 as the winner would be take a (3-2) series lead heading into Game 6.