Week 6 proves that on any given Sunday...
The 2020 All Star Break is upon us which means that we are getting closer and closer to the playoffs. After a wild Week 6 of ORWBL action things are really starting to heat up in both the American and National League. Let's take a look at the wild weekend that was Week 6.
Down goes Granger
The La Porte Sox can relax and smoke their cigars as they will not be needing to welcome any team to the undefeated club this season.
This Granger squad had absolutely rolled through their opponents through 15 games but finally had some struggles with the Elkhart BFAM who actually were swept by the Panthers on Opening Day in 2019.
It was a much needed sweep for Elkhart who had been underperforming all season long prior to this breakout performance. After a 19-5 inaugural campaign last season, many were wondering what exactly had happened to this squad.
Sweeping the Granger Panthers seems to erase most of if not all of those concerns as Elkhart is quickly gaining momentum at the perfect time of the season.
It was a huge day in the standings for BFAM as they also were able to gain 3 games from New Carlisle after they were swept at home by the Wildcards. Just like that, BFAM is only 2 games back of the #2 seed which earns a First Round Bye.
BFAM celebrated their series win in style as they had a fireworks display on hand for the Elkhart faithful.
As for the Panthers, their winning streak ends at 15 as they can now start to shift their focus to making the postseason run that they hope for. Heading into the series most people would have picked the Panthers to get the series win as there were not too many people who saw this one coming.
This series is a prime example of how anything can happen on any given Sunday. Elkhart (10-8) will look to build off of their momentum as they will host Rolling Prairie (4-12) before closing out the regular season with Lynn Street (8-10) in a matchup that could have playoff seeding implications.
Wildcards winners of 6 straight sweeping Newts in Crosstown Classic
In another prime example of just how anything can happen on any given Sunday, the New Carlisle Newts were swept by their crosstown rival Bourissa Hills Wildcards.
This is a tale of two teams currently heading in opposite directions as the Wildcards are winners of 6 straight while the Newts have lost 5 games in a row.
After starting the season 11-1, New Carlisle has sputtered a bit, going 1-5 over their past 6 games. If you have paid any attention to New Carlisle wiffleball, you know that this team is not stressing over it one bit.
The Newts showed us last season that regular season records can become meaningless if you make a strong playoff push. Last season New Carlisle finished the regular season 12-12 before going on to win the National League Championship Series.
With that being said, New Carlisle certainly missed an opportunity to gain some ground on the Panthers who were also swept.
Despite getting swept, New Carlisle still remains on track to earn one of the top 2 seeds in the National League which automatically advances them to the Best of 3 NLDS. They currently hold a 2 game lead over BFAM for the 2nd seed and do own the tiebreaker as they swept BFAM early on in the season.
New Carlisle (12-6) will look to get back on track in Week 7 against the Great Lakes Godfathers before closing up the regular season with their long awaited matchup against the Granger Panthers (15-3).
Meanwhile, the Wildcards are winners of a league best 6 straight games. After starting the season 2-10, Bourissa Hills has turned things around in the 2nd half in a big way.
They have jumped from 7th to 5th in the American League standings and are now only 2 games back of the Meatspins for the 4th seed.
The Wildcards struggled mightily at home as their first 12 games were played at The Palace. It seems as though they just needed a change in scenery as they are now 6-0 on the road.
With the wind blowing in, the Wildcards led by All Stars DJ Hill, Zach Rehlander, and Cody Carlisle played small ball well enough to sweep one of the best teams in our league.
It was a huge all around day for this team as these guys are arguably the hottest team in the league right now. The All Star Game will be a fantastic opportunity for the Cards players to shine as DJ Hill will be in the Starting lineup for Game 1.
When asked about how he felt about the series sweep, Manager Zach Rehlander had the following to say: "The Cards are getting into mid season form! Now we just need to carry this momentum into the postseason."
The hottest team in ORWBL will look to stay red hot as they will travel to The Barnyard to take on the Flat Rock Cyclones.
County Line has won 9 of their last 10
After taking 2 from Twin Branch on Sunday, County Line remains just 1 game back of Flat Rock for the 2nd Bye in the American League standings.
The Kings have now won 9 of their last 10 as they have really built off of their impressive series win over Maple City early on in the season.
With MVP candidates and All Star starters JP Kehoe and Kody Webb leading the way, this County Line team has the potential to be the best team on the field on any given day.
Now at 12-6, County Line has surpassed their win total of 11 from last season. Unfortunately for the Kings, they were still swept by Flat Rock on Opening Day so they do not hold the tiebreaker in that scenario.
Regardless, Manager Mike Forrester has to be extremely happy with where his team is headed as we inch closer and closer to the postseason. If the Kings can finish the season strong, Forrester can certainly make a strong case for American League Manager of the Year.
Cyclones maintain 1 game cushion over County Line for the 2nd seed
After taking 2 in Mishawaka, Flat Rock improved their record to 13-5. Those 13 wins match their previous win total from their inaugural season in 2019.
The Cyclones seemed to be on their way to a series sweep but were not able to close the door as Nick Thoman belted a walkoff homer to help salvage the series loss for Mishawaka as part of a 5 run come from behind victory.
While the Cyclones would have loved to complete the sweep, they still have to be feeling very confident with where they stand.
With 6 games left to play it seems like a sure bet that the Cyclones will be surpassing last season's win total. Flat Rock received major contributions from Tyler Shupert on Sunday as Shup' matched Mark Richards with 12 hits to for the team lead on the day.
With Richards and Shupert playing like the 1-2 that everyone expected, Flat Rock continues to pile up the wins as they surely would love to earn that 1st round Bye advancing them straight to the ALDS Best of 3 series.
With Mark Richards being the lone All Star on this team, expect the rest of the Flat Rock lineup to look to finish off the season very strong in hopes of proving a point.
Despite only having 1 All Star, this team continues to thrive as they now boast the 3rd best record in ORWBL. Flat Rock (13-5) will look to continue their playoff push next week as they will host the Bourissa Hills Wildcards (8-10) who are winners of 6 straight games. The Cyclones have shined so far at their home ballpark as they hold an 8-1 record there.
Maple City moves into a tie with Granger for the best record in ORWBL
The champs are starting to play their best wiffleball of the season as the regular season gets closer and closer to the finish line.
With their Game 1 victory on Sunday, Magic Manager Alex Friedman joined New Carlisle's Koby Keck as the only Managers in ORWBL history to reach the 200 wins mark.
After dropping 2 of 3 on ring day, Maple City has gone 11-1 over their past 12 games with the lone loss coming in Extra innings at the hands of New Carlisle.
Despite being without Drew Luther (Back) for the past 6 games, Maple City has been able to find production elsewhere as John Arndt and Bronson Severs are proving to be major offensive weapons.
Arndt went 10-13 while Bronson Severs went 8-14 and if the Magic can continue to get that kind of production from the bottom of their lineup, it is going to be very tough to end these guys championship run.
While the bottom of the order shined, the top of the order shined even brighter as 2018 AL MVP Caleb Jonkman had a series to remember, going 14-21 with 13 HR, 20 RBI, & 14 Runs.
After a slower start to the season than usual, Jonkman outmatched his first 15 games of play in only 3 games. Caleb now leads the Magic in AVG & Hits and is right behind Jared Jonkman and Wes Ellis in the other categories.
Maple City has to be extremely happy to see him play at that level as they became used to seeing crazy numbers like that throughout his first 3 seasons in the league.
It was arguably his best series of his ORWBL career and potentially earned him Wiffle Talk's Week 6 American League Player of the Week award.
The Maple City trio of Caleb Jonkman, Wes Ellis, and Jared Jonkman seem to be heating up together at the perfect time.
Maple City heads into the final stretch of the season holding a 2 game lead over Flat Rock and a 3 game lead over County Line.
Maple City (15-3) will look to stay hot as they will travel to take on the Twin Branch Billy Goats (6-12) in an ALCS rematch.
Leprechauns win 3rd straight series
After taking 2/3 once again, the Lynn Street Leprechauns have improved their record to 8-10. With 3 more wins, they can surpass their franchise best win total of 10 which they did in the 2018 season.
This Lynn Street team seems like they are one of the more tight knit groups in the league as the team chemistry is through the roof over there.
Levi Miller continues to make a strong case to win his first National League Gold Glove which has been a long time coming. Alongside Miller, Nick Brassell and Guy Wilson have helped provided some sure handed defensive support which is something that usually seemed to hurt this team in the past.
Nate Hansen has brought some much needed veteran leadership to this team as this group has to be one of the more confident teams as we hit the All Star Break.
The Leprechauns have to be licking their chops as they will square off against the Union Mills Goon Squad (2-16) in Week 7. With a series sweep, Lynn Street could move over the .500 mark which would be the first time in franchise history that they have been over .500 at this point in the season.
Matador Smith walks it off for Great Lakes
It was a memorable series for this Great Lakes team after taking 2 from Union Mills. The series started off in rough fashion as Union Mills picked up their 2nd win of the season.
The Godfathers bounced back in Game 2 forcing the rubber match. The series ended in dramatic fashion as our 1st ORWBL Player profile man himself Matador Smith connected on his 1st ever walk off Home Run. Matador was asked about the walkoff and had the following things to say:
"It's still so unbelievable at 51! Not too many Home Runs were hit in the last game because the wind switched and was blowing in. Haase said we would have to get something going on the ground because the wind kept everything in the field, if we were to win which is never good for me!
Haase legged out a single and I came up to bat and the rest is history. I couldn't believe the ball went over! I'm on cloud 9 and will be for a few days, weeks, or even the rest of the season. If I haven't stated this enough, I love this game! All of my teammates are confidence builders too! I wouldn't be able to do what I do without them all!"
And that right there is what ORWBL is all about folks. With all due respect to the fast pitch scene, it doesn't seem like 51 year olds are hitting walkoff Home Runs and because of that, this style of Wiffleball that we play is oh so unique.
The Godfathers are now 6-12 as they will look to make some more memories at Migley Field where they will take on New Carlisle (12-6).
Final word on Week 6
All in all, Week 6 provided us with one of the more unpredictable series of results in recent memory. Just when you thought that things were starting to look predictable, Week 6 happened.
As we shut the door on Week 6, we now look ahead to a jam packed weekend of Wiffleball. The All Star game will kick things off on Friday night leading up to the 4th Annual Cam Snead Tournament on Saturday.
The long weekend will conclude next Sunday with another slate of ORWBL action. And if you learned anything from this Sunday, anything can happen on any given Sunday.