Truffle Butter Win Their 1st American League Pennant Over Maple City To Advance To World Series
ELKHART- Ahead of the 2020 season, former New Carlisle Newt Ryan Galiher announced that he would be bringing the South Bend Truffle Butter to the league. South Bend finished their inaugural season with a 15-15 record playing over on the National League side. That led to what would be a memorable offseason for the guys over in South Bend as they were able to make a huge splash in free agency.
South Bend announced that they had signed former Rookie of the Year and 2021 NL Most Improved Player of the Year in Josh Trim to the squad. They were not done just yet however as they announced the signing of Brandon Terry and Walter Griffin III just a few days after. By signing the trio, Manager Ryan Galiher made it very clear to the rest of the league that the Truffle Butter were going all in.
Trim, Terry, and Griffin III fit right into what South Bend was trying to do from the start as this team destroyed teams all season long. All three offseason additions played in all 30 games while Galiher, Terry, and GrIffin III put up MVP caliber numbers. South Bend also received great production from role players like Jeremy Ratajczyk, Kyle Gagliardi, Ryan Voges, and Ian Garavalia. Having three stars along with a group of solid role players has proven to be quite successful in this league.
The entire South Bend team meshed with each other from the start as they ran through their opponents en route to a dominant 27-3 regular season record. They took care of Crown Point in the Wild Card Round before winning a pair of tight ones against the Pink Pandas in the ALDS.
That set things up for a matchup against the Maple City Magic who came into the ALCS as winners of 6 consecutive American League Pennants. South Bend already knew that they could take down Maple City as they took 2 out of 3 from them back in Week 3 at Payton's Yard.
The 2022 ALCS kicked off on Saturday with Games 1 and 2 out at Magic Park in La Porte. With the wind howling in, Maple City did a great job manufacturing some early runs as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Playing on a torn groin, Maple City's Caleb Jonkman was still able to make a huge difference as he added a pair of Home Runs in Maple City's 7-0 victory in Game 1.
In Game 2 South Bend jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but Maple City was able to climb back to tie things up at two. Still tied up in the bottom of the 5th, the Magic had runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out as it looked a though Maple City was going to plate some runs and win both games at Magic Park. Maple City then had a base running blunder as the Truffle Butter were able to get out of the inning with no harm done.
South Bend then exploded for six runs in the top half of the 6th as they blew the game open by taking an 8-2 lead. Maple City went down quietly in the bottom of the 6th as the Truffle Butter had evened the series up at one while taking all of the momentum in doing so. That momentum carried over to Sunday as the Truffle Butter jumped out to an early lead. They were able to stretch it to 14-7 going into the top of the 5th.
Just as they had done all postseason long, Maple City fought back, tying the game at 14 in the 6th. Shane Anderson had taken over on the mound as he gave Maple City some hope by holding South Bend scoreless in the 5th and 6th.
The Magic then hit three 7th inning Home Runs to take a 17-14 lead as they were 3 outs away from picking up their 4th come from behind win of the postseason. After going scoreless over the previous two frames, South Bend came to hit as they started the inning with a pair of Home Runs. Another HR tied the game at 17 as that brought Josh Trim up to the plate.
Trim capped off what was a great game by delivering his biggest swing of his career as he belted the walk-off Home Run over the left field fence that sent the South Bend players and fans into a frenzy. That swing sealed the deal on their Game 3 victory as South Bend was now just one win away from advancing to the World Series in just their 2nd season.
With their season on the line, Maple City jumped out to an early 8-2 lead with Wes Ellis back on the mound. South Bend was able to chip away at the lead while the combination of Walt Griffin III and Ryan Galiher were able to slow down the Magic offense. After jumping out to an 8-2 lead, Maple City would only score 3 runs across the final 4 frames.
The entire South Bend offense of Galiher, Griffin III, Terry, Trim, and Ratajczyk played a role in their comeback as all five hitters delivered big Home Runs throughout. The Truffle Butter defense did a much better job keeping guys off base as the Magic had many critical errors throughout the entire series.
South Bend was able to fight back to take a one run lead heading into the 6th inning where they needed to hold Maple City scoreless. Griffin III was able to retire Caleb Jonkman and Jared Jonkman to start the inning as that brought Shane Anderson up to the plate. Griffin was able to get Anderson to fly out to left center as South Bend clinched the American League Pennant following a 12-11 win over Maple City in Game 4.
Once the final out was caught, the Truffle Butter players celebrated on the field as they were able to end Maple City's six year run atop the American League. South Bend became the first team other than the Magic to win the American League Pennant since 2015 as they ended what was an incredible run by Maple City.
All in all, we have had quite the story brewing all season long over in Elkhart as this Truffle Butter team will now get the chance to play for a World Series title against the defending World Series Champion Granger Panthers. After going 15-15 in their inaugural season, Manager Ryan Galiher made it clear that his squad was going for a World Series title.
Just over seven months after announcing the additions of Josh Trim, Brandon Terry, and Walter Griffin III, the South Bend Truffle Butter are now American League Champions as this group is now just four wins away from winning a World Series title in just their 2nd year as a franchise. They have a combined 34-4 record between the regular season and Postseason and appear ready to give the Panthers a run for their money.
The World Series kicks off on Saturday, August 20th with Games 1 and 2 out at Payton's Yard. The series will then shift to Snead Field on the following day for Games 3-5. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 would then be played on Sunday, August 28th back at Payton's Yard.