NEW CARLISLE - For the first time since 2013, the ORWBL World Series was decided on the hallowed grounds of Migley Field. However, this time the script was flipped, and the home team was not doing the celebrating.
The Maple City Magic clinched their first ORWBL Championship in franchise history with a 9-6 win over the New Carlisle Newts in Game 5, to win the Series four games to one.
Maple City took the first two games on Sunday at Magic Park, 6-3 and 8-0.
Barely 24 hours after clinching the National League pennant on Saturday in Granger, the Newts struggled to get their best lineup in place for the opening games. And it certainly showed.
In Game 1, the New Carlisle lineup, down Scott Soos and Danny Hernandez, offered little run support for starting pitcher Garrett Curless, who took the mound in the absence of Newts ace Jay Ryans.
Curless pitched well enough to win, but without the sure-handed Randy Schuster anchoring the Newts defense, costly miscues in the field led to a Maple City victory.
Neither Ryans nor Schuster saw any action in the World Series.
In Game 2, the offense continued to sputter as Maple City heated up. The Magic homered their way to an easy 8-0 victory and a commanding 2-0 lead sending it back to Migley.
With the wind blowing out at Migley, the Newts were still unable to string together runs with any consistency, while the Magic continued to tee off. Curless again kept the Newts in the game for four innings, but Maple City exploded for 15 runs over the last two innings to put the game away.
Facing a 3-0 deficit and just trying to win a game, the Newts battled to a 14-12 victory to force a Game 5. NLCS Most Valuable Player Matt Soos took the win on the mound.
With a potential momentum shift on the line, a New Carlisle lead evaporated in the fifth inning as the Magic tied it at 6. In the bottom half, it appeared Scott Soos had given the Newts a lead with a drive just left of center field, but the lengthy Caleb Jonkman robbed the home run.
In the sixth, Anthony Rieff earned himself a World Series MVP award with a go-ahead solo shot to right field. Maple City would tack on two more insurance runs that they would not need, as the Newts went quietly in the bottom half.
For the Magic, it was their first title in three trips to the World Series. Both previous losses came at the hands of the Newts, who were playing in their ORWBL record seventh World Series. New Carlisle has now fallen in the ORWBL's championship round four times against their three titles.