South Bend Truffle Butter Win 2022 World Series In Sweep of Panthers
The 15th ORWBL World Series took place over the weekend as we saw the South Bend Truffle Butter take on the defending champion Granger Panthers. For South Bend, it was their first ORWBL World Series appearance while the Panthers made their third trip after splitting the first two. After not seeing each other in the regular season, not too many people knew what to expect heading into it. Both teams finished as the top seed in their respective league but South Bend controlled home field advantage due to their better record.
With that said, the 2022 ORWBL World Series kicked off on Saturday with Games 1 and 2 at Payton's Yard in Elkhart. South Bend jumped on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Over the next few innings, Granger would end up controlling the game as they scored 8 unanswered runs in the 3rd and 4th innings.
Four time NL Cy Young winner Griffin Smith and the Panther defense held the Truffle Butter scoreless in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings as it looked like the Panthers were well on their way to a Game 1 victory. The Panthers took a 10-2 lead into the bottom of the 6th inning and recorded the first outs of the inning. Then things got crazy. South Bend started to rally back and before we knew it, the game was all tied up at ten.
The Panthers were able to escape the inning with the game still tied but momentum had completely shifted. Both teams went scoreless in the 7th before Griffin III blanked the Panthers in the 8th. That set up what would be a memorable moment for the ages for South Bend players and fans alike as Ryan Voges belted the walk-off Home Run to cap off an eight run come from behind victory to steal Game 1 of the World Series by the score of 11-10.
It was quite the memorable World Series debut for Voges who led the team with 3 HR, 3 RBI, and 3 Runs scored. Brandon Terry, Walter Griffin III, and Ryan Galiher all finished the game with 2 Home Runs. After picking up an incredibly dramatic win in the series opener, South Bend headed into Game 2 with all of the momentum.
However, the defending champs came right back with four runs out of the gate. Their lead would not last long though as the Truffle Butter responded with four of their own. Granger tacked on one run in the 2nd before a three run bottom half put South Bend up for good. Griffin III held the Panthers out of the run column for three straight innings while South Bend added one run of their own in each inning. They took a 10-5 lead into the top of the 6th as they moved within three outs from taking a 2-0 series lead.
The Panthers were able to score two runs in the top of the 6th but that would not be enough as the Truffle Butter held on for a 10-7 victory in Game 2. They were able to keep things rolling in the 2nd game after stealing the first one as South Bend was able to protect home field advantage.
Walter Griffin III led the way for South Bend as he went 6/6 at the plate with 4 HR, 4 RBI, and 4 runs while also picking up the win on the mound. After winning both games to start the series it became quite clear the South Bend was not experiencing any first time World Series jitters.
The series then shifted to Snead Field on Sunday as the pressure was now entirely on the defending World Series champs as they had no interest in falling into a 3-0 series deficit. The Truffle Butter arrived at Snead Field still riding high off of their crazy come from behind win in Game 1.
After a postseason filled with cloudy weather and rain, we finally got some nice weather as the sun was mostly shining out at Snead Field. Granger's Seth Campbell put the Panthers on the board first with a solo HR in the bottom of the 1st. South Bend's Brandon Terry would respond with a solo shot of his own in the top of the 2nd to tie the game at one. Walter Griffin III held the Panthers without a run in the bottom half as the game was tied at one heading to the 3rd.
That's when Game one's hero Ryan Voges smashed a ball over the Snead Field fence as his solo shot put South Bend up by a run. South Bend skipper Ryan Galiher would then deliver a massive two out two run Home Run as South Bend grew their lead to three. Walter Griffin III continued his effectiveness on the mound as he held the Panthers without a run in the bottom of the 3rd. With Griffin III holding the Panthers scoreless, South Bend sensed an opportunity to blow this thing open.
That is exactly what they did as the entire Truffle Butter offense began to rake four time NL Cy Young winner Griffin Smith. Josh Trim kickstarted the inning with a Home Run before capping off a seven run 4th inning with another one. The Truffle Butter took command of the game and series in that inning as they took an 11-2 lead.
The Panthers knew that if they were going to have a chance they would need to get things going in the 4th. Seth Campbell got things started with a solo HR as he looked to the Panthers bench for some help. His call for help was received as the Panthers lineup began to get to Walter Griffin III. Campbell reached base safely with two outs before Austin Williams belted a two run shot to make things a bit interesting. When it was all said and done, Granger was able to score six runs to cut the deficit to four.
South Bend tacked on two runs in the 5th before the Panthers responded with four as South Bend carried a 13-11 lead into the final frame. Granger was able to record the first two outs in the 6th as that brought Walter Griffin III up to the plate. Walt stayed red hot as his two out solo HR helped provide a little insurance for South Bend in what would end up being a critical insurance run.
The Panthers received a pair of Home Runs as they pulled within one run. With two outs and the game on the line, that brought up Alex Zarazee to the plate. After a long battle, Zarazee hit a sharp grounder right back to Griffin III as the ball deflected off of his hands, soaring into the air while heading towards left field. Griffin III chased after the ball as he dove for it and grabbed it right as Alex Zarazee was crossing first base.
Truffle Butter players called for an out, Panthers players called for a base hit and just like that tensions were high at Snead Field. After some back and forth between the two sides, the teams ended up going with the catcher's original call as South Bend catcher Ryan Voges had originally called safe. That brought Seth Campbell up to the plate as he had a chance to end the game with one swing.
After another long battle, Campbell popped a ball into right as South Bend's Josh Trim camped under it to record the final out of the game in what was a dramatic Game 3 in which South Bend held on by the score of 14-13. Brandon Terry and Josh Trim led the way with 3 HR while Galiher, Griffin III, and Voges each had a pair. It was a heartbreaking finish for the Panthers who had a chance to pull it off at the end. As for South Bend, they moved within just one win of their first World Series title in only their 2nd season in the league.
South Bend once again got things started as they jumped out to a two run lead in the top half of the first. Granger responded with one run to cut the deficit in half. That's when the Truffle Butter would put together a memorable inning as they received back to back to back to back Home Runs out of Walter Griffin III, Ryan Galiher, Ryan Voges, and Josh Trim as they jumped out to a 6-1 lead.
The Panthers started the inning off with a couple of base hits to put the pressure on the Truffle Butter. Walter Griffin III was able to work out of the jam as Granger stranded both runners while going scoreless in the 2nd. South Bend added three more runs in the 3rd as they had jumped out to a 9-2 lead. Granger knew they needed to put together a big inning to slow the momentum down but they were retired in order as South Bend was starting to feel it.
The Truffle Butter kept the foot on the gas as they had zero interest in leaving the door open for the Panthers. They added four more runs in the top of the 4th as their lead had blossomed to eleven. To no surprise though, Granger would not go down without a fight. The Panthers put together a seven run 4th inning to pull within four runs but they were quickly running out of time.
Just as they had done all series long, South Bend quickly responded with four runs as they hoped to gain some separation. The Panthers were only able to score two runs in the bottom half as the Truffle Butter carried a 17-11 lead into the 6th inning. Just for good measures, South Bend added two more runs in the 6th, taking a 19-11 lead into the bottom of the 6th where they were now just three outs away from an ORWBL World Series title.
Truffle Butter players and fans alike could feel the excitement building with each passing second. South Bend recorded the first two outs of the inning as that brought last year's World Series MVP Griffin Smith to the plate. Smith hit a fly ball to right field where Josh Trim was there to record the final out of the game as South Bend capped off a four game sweep of the defending champs en route to their first World Series title.
South Bend's sideline erupted as the celebration was officially under way at Snead Field. The Truffle Butter players all joined together on the field in celebration as the champagne showers had begun. All in all, it was an incredible moment for all of the players as they got the chance to celebrate their first World Series title on Snead Field after sweeping the defending World Series Champions.
As the celebration was just getting going, South Bend's Walter Griffin III was named as the 2022 World Series Most Valuable Player. Griffin III finished the World Series 20/28 at the plate with 12 HR, 13 RBI, and 13 Runs while also winning all four games on the mound for the Truffle Butter. It was quite the World Series performance for him as he continued to make a huge name for himself from start to finish.
By sweeping Granger, South Bend became just the 8th ORWBL franchise to hoist the World Series trophy. After going 15-15 in their inaugural season, this team decided to go all in over the offseason by adding Josh Trim, Walter Griffin III, and Brandon Terry. All three players ended up playing in all regular season and postseason games as they fit perfectly into South Bend's plan.
Griffin III was a menace all season long both at the plate and on the mound while Brandon Terry provided one of the best bats in the game while also providing some of the surest hands in the league. Josh Trim thrived in his role as he provided a great bat at the bottom of the lineup while also locking down right field.
Manager Ryan Galiher put together legitimate MVP caliber numbers for a 2nd straight season and while he did not end up taking home the award, he instead led his team to a World Series title. Galiher did a phenomenal job bringing the right pieces in and getting the entire roster on the same page. On top of Galiher and his three offseason additions, South Bend also had a group of players who thrived in their roles.
We saw South Bend's Ryan Voges put together an incredible performance in the World Series as he finished the series with 9 Home Runs. His Game 1 walk-off Home Run capped off an eight run come from behind win that set the tone for the rest of the series.
South Bend also received great contribution from Kyle Gagliardi who had some postseason heroics of his own as he delivered the walk-off Home Run in their Game 1 victory over Mill Pond in the ALDS. Gagliardi was really the catalyst of the offense in both the Wild Card Round and ALDS as he came up huge when his team needed him the most.
The Truffle Butter also received great production from Jeremy Ratajczyk whenever he was in the lineup as he played very well in their ALCS win over Maple City. Ratajczyk was the only South Bend player to have won an ORWBL World Series title before this year as he won two titles as a member of the Maple City Magic in 2019 and 2020. South Bend also received some quality production and energy out of Ian Garavalia and Tyler Walk who are also now ORWBL Champions.
All in all, it was a storybook season for South Bend as they finished the year with a 38-4 record after making a huge splash in the offseason. They were a .500 team in 2021 and they decided to go all in for a title. They became the first team other than Maple City since 2015 to win the American League Pennant. They then swept the defending champions to claim their first World Series title in what was a dominant postseason run.
With South Bend winning it all, we have now had three different champions in three consecutive seasons along with two first time champions in back to back seasons. This group came together over the offseason, came up with a plan and executed it all season long as the Truffle Butter are the 2022 World Series Champions!