NEW CARLISLE - On paper, the 2023 ORWBL World Series looked a little lopsided heading into the matchup between the South Bend Truffle Butter (24-6) and the New Carlisle Newts (18-12).
Despite being massive underdogs, New Carlisle's squad gave the defending champions all they could handle. But the Newts were unable to finish the job - losing a tight battle in Game 7.
New Carlisle outscored South Bend, 85-75, in the series.
South Bend hosted the first four contests at Payton's Yard, winning three of four with two of the victories coming via walk-off home runs. Stealing one on the road was no easy feat for the Newts, who barely held on for a 13-12 win in Game 2. Although the Newts technically grabbed homefield advantage, it left a monumental task for New Carlisle to sweep the final three games at Migley Field.
On Sunday afternoon, it seemed as if the Newts were up to the challenge, dominating the first two games, 16-8 and 17-8, to force a decisive battle in Game 7.
South Bend shifted into another gear in the finale, jumping out to an early 6-0 advantage. Walter Griffin III returned to the mound in his 2022 World Series form, keeping the hot Newts bats in check for most of the game.
The Newts finally chipped away, and the tying run came to the plate in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings. However, the season ended with a foul ball landing in the hands of Josh Trim and South Bend prevailed, 8-6.
It was New Carlisle's first trip to the ORWBL World Series since 2019, and their ninth appearance overall.
The Newts finish the 2023 season, including postseason and tournaments, with a 42-24 overall record.