NEW CARLISLE - When New Carlisle's team takes the field Opening Day (May 17 at Spicer Lake), they will begin a quest for an unprecedented three-peat. Following the catastrophic 8-34 season in 2012, nobody could have imagined a resurgent Newts franchise quite like this.
New Carlisle will have its fair share of challengers heading into the 2015 season, as the ninth season of the ORWBL looks to be another incredibly competitive one.
As has been the case over the last three years, any championship conversation starts with Cult West. The 2012 World Series champions have been eliminated in the postseason in each of the past two seasons by the Newts. However, the teams have been virtually dead even over that time frame, with the Newts holding a 13-11 edge in the head-to-head series. The Warriors have also had possession of the Hometown Cup for those two years, with consecutive City Championships.
New Carlisle can't look ahead to a potential World Series rematch with Cult West either.
With Matt Serge gone to free agency, New Carlisle will have its hands full as it aims to capture another ORWBL championship. Serge's departure not only leaves a hole in the Newts rotation and lineup, it fortifies the Emery's Army roster. Rolling Prairie always provides a difficult challenge to New Carlisle, and the renegade squad seems to be gaining momentum. EA got back to its winning ways last season, as its 21-15 campaign was the franchise's first winning record since 2011.
Despite the recent dominance over the Maple City Magic, New Carlisle's 2013 World Series opponent plans to get back on track after a disappointing early exit from the postseason last year. The team that eliminated them, the Pterodactyls, could be a dark horse if they can get slugger Nick Arndt to play for them on a regular basis.
Newts management is hopeful that the scaled-back schedule will allow the team to put out its best lineup as often as possible. There are plenty of teams capable of knocking off the champions, However, with the likes of Chayse Davis, Garrett Curless, and Noah and Seth Shail in the lineup, New Carlisle has a good of a shot as anybody to capture another World Series title.