Maple City Magic win 4th consecutive ORWBL World Series title over BFAM in 6 games
Pictured from left to right: Greg Gierling, Caleb Jonkman, Shane Anderson, John Arndt, Jared Jonkman, Drew Luther, Wes Ellis, Alex Friedman, Bronson Severs, and team owner Shaw Friedman.
LA PORTE- World Series action returned on Sunday to Magic Park for the conclusion of the 2020 ORWBL World Series as Elkhart made the trip back to La Porte for the second time in the series. After facing a 3-0 series deficit heading into Game 4, Elkhart was able to reel off a pair of elimination game wins, moving their postseason record in elimination games to 7-0.
Maple City's Wes Ellis took the mound for the Magic as he was opposed by Elkhart's Walter Griffin III once again. After Griffin III reached base safely to lead off the game, BFAM was able to bring him around to score after a groundout to the pitcher led to a throwing error that allowed Griffin III to circle the bases.
Ellis was able to retire the side with no more damage done as Elkhart took a 1-0 lead into the bottom half of the 1st. Maple City responded right back with one of their own in the bottom half of the inning after a Caleb Jonkman leadoff Home Run.
Ellis then began shutting down BFAM's lineup as he would not allow another run to score until the 5th inning. Meanwhile, Maple City was able to take a 2-1 lead in the 2nd after a Shane Anderson solo shot.
After Ellis held BFAM scoreless in the 3rd, the floodgates began to open after Caleb Jonkman, Wes Ellis, Jared Jonkman, and Drew Luther went back to back to back to back to start the inning which would end up being fitting.
The Magic were not done just yet however as Caleb Jonkman reached base on a double before Wes Ellis blasted a 2 run HR to make the score 8-1. The Magic capped off the 7 run inning with yet another solo HR from Jared Jonkman, his 2nd homer of the inning.
Maple City extended their lead to 10-1 after Caleb Jonkman smashed his 3rd HR of the game as he put on a Game 6 performance for the ages.
Elkhart was able to plate one more run in the 5th after a Chaz Boyd RBI single scored Walter Griffin III from 3rd base. In the bottom half of the 5th, Maple City's Caleb Jonkman picked up his 6th hit of the game in 6 tries after smashing a double to left field that nearly left the yard.
Ellis being the selfless hitter that he is then smashed a ground ball to the right side that he was able to beat out while also bringing around Caleb Jonkman to score from second as the Magic extended their lead to 11-2.
Elkhart had one final chance in the 6th inning but they went down in order as the Maple City Magic clinched their 4th consecutive ORWBL World Series title after an 11-2 Game 6 victory.
The celebration was on at Magic Park as the Magic players doused each other in champagne out on the field where they began their celebration. By winning this years World Series, Maple City became the first team in ORWBL history to win their 4th title, doing so in four consecutive seasons.
After waiting seven long years to win their first ORWBL championship, Maple City has put together a remarkable run for the ages that is going to be incredibly tough to top. This championship run was a true team effort. They played with 21 different lineup combinations throughout the season as everyone contributed throughout both the regular season and postseason.
Throughout the playoffs, ten different Magic players received playing time while nine different players picked up World Series hits.
Maple City's Wes Ellis was named the 2020 World Series MVP after winning all four games on the mound while going 24-39 (.615 AVG) with 15 HR, 24 RBI, and 20 Runs. After spending the majority of the 2019 season living in Texas, Ellis returned with a chip on his shoulder and it showed all season long as he was Maple City's most consistent player throughout the year.
Pictured above: Maple City's Wes Ellis after being named the 2020 World Series MVP.
While all three Magic pitchers received time on the mound, Ellis served as the primary pitcher during their 1st Hometown Cup Championship run and he followed that up with a 9-1 postseason record. The 2x Cy Young winner certainly made phenomenal return to the slow pitch scene in 2020 as he is one of the most feared players in the league.
Their leadoff hitter Caleb Jonkman put together a ridiculous Game 6 stat line by going 6-6 with 3 HR, 3 RBI, and 5 runs scored. This performance brought his World Series average up to .500 as he finished 2nd behind Ellis for the team lead in postseason hits and runs.
The 2019 American League Gold Glove award winner was stellar in the outfield all series long as Jonkman is undoubtedly one of the top fielders and players in the country, regardless of what style of Wiffleball is being played. The 2x National Player of the Year winner is certainly making a case to win his 3rd with what he has accomplished across the different league's that he has played in this year.
Meanwhile, his brother Jared Jonkman blossomed into an MVP candidate this season as the younger Jonkman finished as the team leader in RBI while finishing tied for the team lead in HR and Runs. He was the lone Magic player voted in as an American League All Star starter.
The 2019 World Series MVP winner followed that up with another fantastic performance throughout the series as he finished 19-37 (.514 AVG) with 14 HR, 20 RBI, and 16 Runs. His 14 HR and 20 RBI finished 2nd on the team behind this year's World Series MVP, Wes Ellis. He capped off another great World Series run with 2 more Home Runs as he was the only Magic player to hit a Home Run in all six World Series games.
With Jonkman taking that next step forward this season, Maple City boasted one of, if not the top trios is the sport. After serving as the Magic's starting catcher during their last 3 World Series runs, Jared transitioned into their starting centerfielder for this title run as he has become Maple City's super-utility man.
He broke out onto the scene at the Cam Snead Tournament with a legendary pitching performance, leading the Magic to the Cam title in his first real experience as a pitcher in the slow pitch style for more than an inning or two.
He most notably pitched against the Granger Panthers in their Final 4 game at the Cam Snead Tournament and in the championship against Granny's Quilt. He continued to see experience on the mound during the Magic's Hometown Cup run as well as their ORWBL World Series run. Jonkman figures to see a larger role on the mound for Maple City in 2021 after finishing 3-0 during the 2020 campaign.
The four through five spots in the batting order continued to perform in Game 6 as both Drew Luther and Shane Anderson homered. After missing the majority of their playoff run with a back injury, Luther returned to action in style for Game 3 of the World Series as he finished the game 6-9 with 5 HR.
During his 19 At Bats, Luther shined as he would make the most out of them by recording 10 hits. His .526 World Series batting average finished 2nd on the team behind Ellis. He finished tied for 3rd on the team in HR with Caleb Jonkman as Luther looked like an MVP caliber player in his 19 World Series AB's. He did an amazing job working his way back after the injury that hampered him all season long.
Meanwhile, Shane Anderson finished the World Series batting at a .375 clip with 6 Home Runs. Anderson played lockdown defense and held his own on the mound in his Game 4 start after finishing the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record. He nearly helped lead the Magic back during their Game 5 loss as he led the team in Home Runs with three.
The 2020 American League Most Improved Player of the Year award winner Bronson Severs picked up five World Series hits, scoring 3 runs while also playing lockdown defense in the field.
The speedster had his big playoff moment during the ALCS against the Kings with the wind howling in as he picked up the go ahead RBI single that would complete the three game sweep over County Line. Severs was the lone "new face" not on last year's team and he fit right back in like he had never left.
The Magic skipper Alex Friedman had his World Series moment in Game 3 after drawing the start as he hit a 2nd inning leadoff Home Run that would kickstart them to a 12 run inning that ultimately put them up for good in that one. He made some great lineup and pitching rotation decisions as the Magic implored a different philosophy than year's past, cycling through a much larger rotation all year long this season.
Their veteran leader John Arndt picked up a World Series HR in their Game 2 victory as his presence has undoubtedly helped this team grow over the past 5 years after acquiring him in a trade from the Jet City Junkballers. He also picked up a pair of crucial RBI's during their ALCS sweep over County Line with the wind howling in and runs tough to come by.
Maple City also received a World Series homer from George Stainko in Game 4 with the Magic in desperate need of something as they were trailing 12-10 when he hit it over the fence. Stainko also picked up a win on the mound in the regular season in a road game against Emery's Army.
The Magic bench coach Greg Gierling also chipped in during their postseason run as he picked up the series clinching save in their ALDS sweep over the Meatspins while also helping Manager Alex Friedman with some lineup decisions. Geirling finishes 2020 as the team leader in Saves as he converted on all five save opportunities throughout the year.
All in all, it was truly a team effort with so many players having chipped in throughout. This was no different in the regular season as Brian Lockhart, Jeremy Ratajczyk, and Zach Wisniewski also contributed on the field at different points in the year.
It has been the summer of the Magic in 2020 as Maple City also won the Cam Snead Tournament along with the Hometown Cup back in July. If they thought there was a target on their backs heading into this year, just wait till 2021.
For Maple City, this caps off a very memorable summer that they will all remember for quite some time. Meanwhile, despite falling just short in the World Series, Elkhart BFAM has a lot to be proud of. They won a Wild Card game against the Godfathers before taking 2 out of 3 against the Newts at Migley Field to advance to the NLCS.
They clinched their 1st National League pennant in only their 2nd season in the league after winning three consecutive elimination games against the Granger Panthers at Snead Field.
They fell behind three games to zero in the World Series but continued to battle as they not only won their first ever World Series game, but took two out of three from the Magic at Manor Field in Elkhart.
Led by the superstar duo of 2019 NL MVP Brandon Terry and 2020 NL MVP & Cy Young runner up Walter Griffin III, the future is very bright in Elkhart.
After delaying the start of the season by one month due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we were able to successfully get through the season with no issues! Thank you to everyone for being patient as it ended up being a good call to put the start of the season on hold for one full month.
Thanks again to Wiffleball News, WiffleTalk.com, Mark Richards and Brandon Terry from The ORWBL Live Show, and Whitt Huffer of the Great Lakes Godfathers for helping continue to help grow our game with some media, player of the week honors, video footage and news. We also want to thank Justin Dekker and Shane Anderson one more time for helping make the website much easier to operate.
Congratulations once again to the Maple City Magic on winning their 4th consecutive title and to the Elkhart BFAM for such an incredible postseason run. We will continue to check back in occasionally throughout the offseason with some articles along with World Series footage from Whitt Huffer to keep people updated on league news!