Magic advance to 5th consecutive World Series after sweeping Kings
LA PORTE- After finishing as the top 2 teams in the American League, the Maple City Magic and County Line Kings met up with a trip to the ORWBL World Series on the line. These two teams met back in Week 2 of the regular season as County Line took 2 out of 3 on the same day that the Magic players received their 2019 championship rings.
Ever since the Kings took 2 out of 3 from Maple City it just seemed inevitable that these two teams would meet again. With the Magic taking down the Meatspins along with the Kings beating the Cyclones in the ALDS, the stage was set for a rematch.
With ORWBL delaying the start of the season by 1 month, the managers decided to play the entirety of the League Championship Series' all in one day at the higher seeded teams home park. With that being said, Maple City would serve as the home team for Games 1, 2, and 5 if necessary.
After months and months of back and forth talk on twitter, these two teams were finally set for action in what was a beautiful day out at Magic Park. With the wind howling straight in from center, both teams knew that hits and runs would be tough to come by.
Both of these teams put together quite remarkable seasons as the Kings finished as the highest scoring team in all of ORWBL while the Magic allowed the fewest runs of any team in the league. With the wind blowing in, things seemed to favor the Magic a little bit but not by much considering the Kings have 2020 American League Gold Glover Kody Webb in left field.
For Game 1, County Line's Kadin Abegg was opposed by Maple City's Jared Jonkman on the mound. Jared Jonkman helped himself out as he put the Magic ahead early with a solo HR. Shane Anderson followed up the homer with one of his own, blasting a ball over the right center field fence, giving the Magic an early 2-0 advantage.
County Line answered right back with 3 runs of their own in the top of the 2nd as Kody Webb and JP Kehoe each belted a Home Run. Maple City answered right back in the bottom half of the 2nd as Caleb Jonkman added a solo homer.
The Magic sent out Wes Ellis in the 3rd to replace Jonkman on the mound as Maple City has had a rather quick hook on their pitchers this season. After entering the game, Ellis was flawless on the mound as he shut down the entire Kings offense for the rest of the game.
The Kings and Magic traded a couple of scoreless innings back and forth before the Magic received a clutch hit that would put them up for good. With the score tied at 3, All Star starter Jared Jonkman smashed a towering 2 run HR that gave Maple City a 2 run cushion. Ellis closed the door shut on County Line in the 6th inning as Maple City jumped out to an early 1-0 series lead.
Hits and runs were even tougher to come by in Game 2 as Abegg and Ellis had plenty of success with opposing hitters. The Kings struck early in Game 2 as Mike Forrester hit a solo HR to give County Line an early lead. Forrester's HR would end up being the only long ball of the game as both pitchers were really in a zone.
After scraping together a couple of hits, Maple City utilized some small ball to their advantage as they were methodically able to scrape a couple of runs together in the bottom half of the first to take a 2-1 lead.
After giving up the early HR to Forrester, Ellis was flawless as he did not allow a single base runner the rest of the way. Maple City's John Arndt found ways to contribute despite the tough conditions as he brought in another run for the Magic in the 4th inning on a sacrifice ground out.
Despite not tallying a hit, Arndt found ways to contribute to the win as he drove in 2 of Maple City's 3 runs in this one. With Maple City's defense on point they were able to hold onto their 3-1 lead as Ellis continued to dominate on the mound. Despite only having 3 hits in the game, Maple City was able to pick up the win, moving them just one win shy of a trip to the World Series.
Moving ahead to Game 3, the County Line Kings took the field as the home team this time around. The Kings once again sent Kadin Abegg to the mound as he was opposed by Wes Ellis for the 2nd consecutive game.
In what went down as a competitive series from start to finish, Game 3 might have been the most interesting one to watch. After trading zeroes in the first inning, Maple City jumped on the board first after a Jared Jonkman RBI single.
Ellis continued his success in the finale as he did not allow a run through the first 3 innings. He also helped himself out in the 4th inning as he hit a solo HR to extend Maple City's lead to two.
With their season hanging in the balance, County Line knew it was now or never as they trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom half of the 5th. That was when County Line's pitcher Kadin Abegg blasted a solo shot to center to put the Kings on the board.
Needing some sort of life, Abegg provided them with just that as the Kings bench erupted. With excitement still riding high, Kody Webb followed it up with a solo HR of his own, tying the game at 2 apiece.
Ellis was able to get out of inning only allowing 2 as the game was now deadlocked heading into the 6th inning. Both teams once again traded zeros in the 6th before Maple City threatened in the top of the 7th. After the first 2 men reached base, 2020 American League Most Improved Player Bronson Severs had the chance to put the Magic ahead.
Severs hit a grounder right back to Abegg which brought George Stainko to the plate with only one out. Stainko hit a sharp line drive to left which Kody Webb caught before firing home. With Ellis tagging, we had ourselves a play at the plate.
Webb made a fantastic throw as he got it to Boren who was able to slap the tag on Ellis before he was able to score. All in all it was a fantastic play from County Line especially considering the magnitude of the play.
The Kings were able to get out of the jam but were held scoreless in the bottom of the 7th inning. Maple City once again threatened as Ellis and Jared Jonkman both reached base to start the inning. Bronson Severs came up to the plate with a chance to redeem himself from his prior at bat.
Unlike his last at bat, Severs was able to hit this one a little harder as it bounced right through Abegg as Severs reached base safely with the go ahead RBI single, putting Maple City on top 3-2.
After a George Stainko base hit, Abegg was able to get out of the jam only allowing one run.
Magic ace Wes Ellis was able to close things out in the bottom half of the 8th inning as Maple City completed their sweep over County Line, advancing to their 5th consecutive World Series and 6th in franchise history.
Despite having as big of a target on their backs that we have ever seen, Maple City was able to once again win the American League Championship in what was one of the more competitive American League's from top to bottom that we have seen in quite some time.
All in all, it has been a memorable summer for the Magic as they were able to capture their first Hometown Cup while also winning the Cam Snead Tourney just two weeks before. Maple City will now look to continue their remarkable run as they will look to capture their 4th consecutive ORWBL title.
If they are able to get the job done, Maple City will become the first team to win 4 World Series titles as they are currently tied with New Carlisle with three each.
Maple City will square off against the National League Champion Elkhart BFAM as they will be the 3rd different World Series opponent that they have faced during their five year run atop the American League.