Elkhart gets revenge on New Carlisle, winning NLDS in hard fought 3 game series
NEW CARLISLE- The 2020 ORWBL Postseason kicked off on Sunday with all 14 teams in action at four different sites across the league. Let’s take a look at what happened over in the New Carlisle Region as the 2nd seeded Newts hosted both a Play-in and Wild Card game before their National League Division Series.
There is nothing quite like postseason Wiflleball at Migley Field as four different teams got a chance to experience the fun.
In one of the two matchups around the league kicking off at 1pm ET, the 6th seeded Great Lakes Godfathers and 7th seeded Union Mills Goon Squad took to the field.
With both teams in search of their 1st postseason win in franchise history, there was some buzz at Migley surrounding this one.
Both teams traded punches throughout and in what seemed to be the trend of the day, this one went down to the wire. When it was all said and done it was the ORWBL veterans from Great Lakes who came out on top, advancing to the Wild Card game with a 5-4 victory.
With year two of Goon Squad wiffleball now in the books, this young team is already looking ahead to 2021 as this squad looks to continue to make improvements. If Union Mills can sharpen up their hitting in the offseason, this young, athletic team could be ready to take that next step forward.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s ORWBL team looked to continue their postseason run against the 3rd seeded Elkhart BFAM who finished the regular season winners of 9 straight.
With hitting conditions at Migley less than ideal, both teams really had to work for every run that they scored. Just like the play in game before this, the Godfathers found themselves in a tight battle that came down to the wire. Elkhart was able to do just enough as they closed the door on the Godfathers season after picking up a hard fought 6-5 win.
For Great Lakes, they see their season come to an end as they head into the offseason with their first postseason win in franchise history under their belt.
After playing in the American League for four straight seasons, the Godfathers made the jump over to the senior circuit. Great Lakes struggled to find consistency this season but will look to improve in 2021.
The League received some welcoming news as Godfathers General Manager Matador Smith posted a tweet following their playoff exit announcing that the Godfathers would indeed be back next season.
Meanwhile, the stage was set for the Best of 3 National League Division Series as the 3x World Series Champion New Carlisle Newts took to their home field with the organs playing their famous tunes from Wrigley Field.
This matchup featured a pair of NL Cy Young candidates as New Carlisle’s Aidan Cotter was opposed by Elkhart’s Walter Griffin III.
In Game 1, Elkhart came out of the gates quickly, scoring 3 runs in the top of the 1st. The Newts battled right back however, scoring 4 of their own in the bottom half to take a 4-3 lead.
After some early struggles in the 1st, both pitchers settled down, as they entered the 6th inning all tied up at 5. Needing a clutch hit of some sort, Elkhart was able to receive it from Nick Fritz as he powered out the go ahead solo HR before Austin Traxler hit one of his own, extending the lead to two.
Walt Griffin III held the Newts scoreless in the 6th as BFAM moved to within just 1 win away from advancing to their 1st ever NLCS. With their season now on the line, New Carlisle turned to Ryan Galiher on the mound in hopes of forcing a Game 3.
Galiher was flawless throughout, tossing a 1-hitter en route to a 5-1 Newts victory. Brandon Terry provided Elkhart with their only hit of the game as he hit a solo HR to avoid the perfect game bid.
With momentum on their side, New Carlisle once again turned to Ryan Galiher on the mound as he was opposed by Walt Griffin III for the 2nd straight game.
Both lineups were held scoreless in the 1st before Elkhart got the party started with 3 runs in the 2nd. After adding another run in the 4th, BFAM broke the game open in the 5th inning, scoring 6 more runs to take a 10-0 lead.
The Elkhart offense exploded from top to bottom in Game 3 as they received a pair of homers from all five spots in their lineup. It was Austin Traxler who led the overall hitting charge in this one as he blasted 4 HR over the fence.
After scoring 2 more in the top of the 6th, New Carlisle had one last chance to avoid seeing their season come to a conclusion. While the Newts did get themselves on the board, Walter Griffin III shut the door on any comeback hopes as Elkhart clinched the series win following a 12-1 victory.
After a much improved regular season in which New Carlisle won 17 ballgames, their season ends with an earlier playoff exit than they are used to. It will be interesting to see what Newts skipper Koby Keck has in store for the offseason as New Carlisle aims to return to the top.
Meanwhile, Elkhart began their celebration as they picked up a signature postseason series win against one of the most successful teams in ORWBL history.
Now with a regular season sweep of the Panthers and a National League Division Series win under their belt, Elkhart will look to keep their dream season alive as they will head to Snead Field to take on the top seeded Granger Panthers in the Best of 5 National League Championship Series.
These two teams met up in Week 6 as Elkhart not only handed the Panthers their first loss of the season but also picked up a series sweep that seems to have really propelled this team to make the run that they are having.