Hometown Heartbreak Again
NEW CARLISLE - For the second consecutive year, the New Carlisle Newts put together an incredible run in The Wiffle®Ball Championship at Hometown Days. And for a second consecutive year, the Newts fell short in the title game.
Son of a Pitch defeated New Carlisle, 7-2, to capture the Hometown Cup. It was the Newts' only loss on the weekend, as the team finished with an 8-1 record yet again.
It was the Newts third straight appearance in the Hometown Cup Finals, and record fifth overall. New Carlisle won titles in 2007 and 2008, back in the Championship's early era.
Despite the title drought, the Newts have re-emerged as one of the top contenders in recent years after adding Noah Shail to the roster's core, anchored by Garrett Curless and captain Koby Keck.
Ryan Galiher of the Griffleball League's Gashouse Gorillas filled in for Randy Schuster this weekend, while his teammate Jeremy Ratajczyk played Saturday's pool play rounds for Shail.
The Newts cruised to an easy 2-0 pool play Saturday with wins over the Big Dawgs and Skinny Genes, both at Brandon Hora Field.
In the afternoon session, the Newts played two classics at The Palace. First against the Chicago American Giants. New Carlisle needed a 3-run walkoff home run from Galiher to escape with the 18-17 win. In the pool play finale, the Newts blew a five run lead in the sixth, but answered with two runs in the seventh to hold on, 12-11.
The Newts sixth division title was enough to earn a bye and a 3-seed in the Hometown Cup Playoffs. New Carlisle faced traditional rival Speedy's Chickenheads in the Second Round, overcoming an early deficit to win, 8-6. It was the fourth meeting at Hometown Days since 2007 between the two clubs. The Newts have won all four.
In the Sweet Sixteen, the Newts jumped out to an early 10-2 lead over the Granger Panthers. The Panthers caught fire late, but it wasn't enough as New Carlisle held on, 10-8, to eliminate Granger for the second straight year.
With a trip to Migley on the line, the Newts squared off against ORWBL foe, Hudson Lake Heat. The game went back and forth with each team trading blows. However, the Newts sealed the deal with a double play by pitcher Garrett Curless to clinch the 8-7 win and bid to the Hometown Cup Finals.
In front of another raucous crowd at Migley Field, the Newts took on the Maple City Magic with the wind howling in at the confines. The game went scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when John Arndt pushed across a run for the Magic. However, New Carlisle answered with the game on the line in the sixth. Curless and Shail each scored to give the Newts the 2-1 victory.