Elkhart avoids elimination, taking 2/3 from Maple City to send the World Series back to Magic Park
The 2020 ORWBL World Series resumed on Saturday with Games 3-5 played at Manor Field in Elkhart. The BFAM faithful showed out in their first ever World Series appearance as they drew a fantastic crowd that brought tons of energy from the start.
With the wind howling out, both teams knew that it would take a lot of runs to come out on top. Maple City came out red hot as they were able to score 6 runs in the 1st inning after Wes Ellis blasted a pair of 2 run homers while Drew Luther and Jared Jonkman each added one.
Elkhart answered right back with 6 of their own in the bottom half of the 1st led by a pair of HR's by Walt Griffin III as well as a HR from Nick Fritz and Brandon Terry as the game was all tied up at 6 after 1 inning.
Receiving his first start in the World Series, Magic Manager Alex Friedman kickstarted a 12 run inning after hitting a towering leadoff HR. The rest of the Magic followed suit as the entire lineup continued to keep things rolling.
BFAM was able to answer with 4 runs off of a pair of 2 run shots by Austin Traxler and Nick Fritz. The Magic answered with 3 more of their own in the 3rd to extend their lead to 11. Elkhart then was able to manufacture a couple of runs through some base hits, scoring 2 runs in the 3rd.
Wes Ellis and Drew Luther each homered in the 4th to make the score 23-12. Ellis was then able to get into a bit of a groove as he held the BFAM lineup scoreless in the 4th. Drew Luther, Jared Jonkman, and Shane Anderson each hit a solo shot in the 5th which made the score 26-12.
After receiving loads of run support, Ellis was able to improve in the latter half of the game as he was able to close the door on BFAM the rest of the way as Maple City picked up a 28-17 victory to move within just 1 win shy from their 4th consecutive ORWBL World Series title.
The Magic lineup exploded for four touchdowns with Wes Ellis leading the charge by going 7-9 with 6 HR, 11 RBI, & 7 Runs. The 2019 World Series MVP Jared Jonkman continued his playoff success by hitting 5 of his own.
After missing the majority of Maple City's postseason run with a back injury, Drew Luther returned to the Magic lineup with vengeance as he finished the game 6-9 with 5 HR, 6 RBI, & 6 Runs. Shane Anderson entered the game half way through for Friedman and belted out a pair of homers while Caleb Jonkman and Alex Friedman each added one.
Meanwhile, Elkhart's entire lineup was also able to hit a HR in this high scoring affair as Walt Griffin III continued his playoff success by hitting 3 HR to go along with 5 RBI, and 4 Runs.
Despite facing elimination, Elkhart did not budge as they continued to bring the energy. Those guys are no stranger to coming back from a deficit as they trailed the Panthers 2 games to 0 in the NLCS before going on to win 3 straight elimination games.
Maple City's Shane Anderson received his first postseason start on the mound as he was opposed by Walt Griffin III. Elkhart came out of the gates in Game 4 with that same intensity as they took a 4-3 lead heading into the 3rd inning.
Griffin III really began settling down as Maple City's hitters started struggling to hit the ball like they are used to. Elkhart was able to extend their lead in the 3rd as they took a 7-4 lead heading into the 4th.
Maple City started to catch fire in the 4th as they scored 5 runs to take a 9-7 lead. Elkhart responded with 2 of their own to even up the score at 9 apiece. The Magic were only able to scrape one across in the 5th as Elkhart knew that this was an opportunity to shift the momentum.
Elkhart scored 3 runs in the 5th as they took a 12-10 lead heading into the 6th inning. Maple City's George Stainko received his first World Series start and made an impact on the game as he hit a solo HR to bring the Magic within one. Maple City was able to tie the game up at 12 but were not able to take the lead which set the stage for Walter Griffin III.
Griffin III put a great swing on the ball and hit a towering walkoff HR to right center field to give Elkhart their first ever World Series win in franchise history after their Game 6, 13-12 win! Griffin III was one of three BFAM players to hit 2 HR's in this one with Chaz Boyd and Max Fritz being the other two. Max Fritz had a game high 4 RBI's as he really came up clutch when they needed him.
Elkhart also received a HR from Brandon Terry and Austin Traxler. Maple City's Wes Ellis continued to swing a hot bat as he led the way for Maple City with 3 HR. Jared Jonkman added 2 while Caleb Jonkman and George Stainko each added one.
Walt Griffin III picked up the win on the mound while Shane Anderson suffered the loss despite doing a good job keeping BFAM in the ballpark considering the favorable hitting conditions. With the win, Elkhart moved to 6-0 in elimination games during the postseason as they looked to pick up another one in Game 5.
Moving along to Game 5, Maple City was able to plate 3 runs in the top of the first inning. Elkhart continued to find success at the plate early in this one as they scored 5 runs in the 1st to take a 5-3 lead.
Elkhart's Walter Griffin III was then able to really get into a groove as he held Maple City scoreless in the 2nd and 3rd innings. BFAM was able to continue to add to their lead throughout as a 5 run 4th inning extended their lead to 10.
Griffin III continued to silence Maple City hitters in the 4th and 5th as he only allowed 1 run in each inning. Elkhart added one more in the bottom half of the 5th to take a 15-5 lead. At this point the momentum had shifted entirely in favor of Elkhart as they were well on their way to sending this series back to Magic Park for Game 6.
Maple City did not go down quietly however as the offense really began to find their groove once again. The Magic scored seven unanswered runs with nobody out as the score was now 15-11. Griffin III was able to compose himself and close the door on Maple City's comeback hopes as he recorded 3 straight outs to seal the victory for Elkhart.
After being down three games to none, Elkhart showed some incredible poise and focus as they were able to shift the momentum entirely after Game 3. The Elkhart fans showed a ton of support as they brought the energy and helped fuel BFAM to a pair of elimination game victories.
With the wins, Elkhart moved to 7-0 while facing elimination in the postseason which is pretty remarkable. BFAM's 1-2 punch of Walt Griffin III and Brandon Terry were phenomenal in this one as they each added 4 HR and 5 RBI to lead the charge. Austin Traxler and Max Fritz each contributed a pair of homers while Chaz Boyd finished the game 3-6 with a run.
Maple City struggled to get much going in this one as they were playing from behind throughout the entire game. Jared Jonkman and Drew Luther did what they could to try and spark a late rally as both players finished the game with 2 homers.
All in all, it was a special afternoon in Elkhart as BFAM picked up their first 2 World Series wins in only their 2nd season in the league. Despite facing adversity BFAM rallied together to send the series back to Magic Park for the conclusion of the series.
The 2020 ORWBL World Series will come to a conclusion on Sunday, August 23rd as BFAM travels back to Magic Park for Game 6 of the World Series with first pitch slated for 1pm ET, 12pm CT.