Loggers Storm Back Late for Wifftober 8 Victory

Fueled by El Guapo's historic slam, the Loggers ride a 10 run outburst in the twelfth inning to their league leading 5th Wifftober
Post Season
Game Date: 
October 25, 2014
Epicocity of Game: 
Classic
Lagers: 
9
Loggers: 
15

You know it is mid to late October when a motley collection of middle age wifflers battle upon the wiffle fields of central Vermont with the singular goal of drinking from Lord Wiffle’s Chalice. Those that guzzle from the dented and cherished Chalice are decided by a combination of strategy, desire, talent, perseverance and luck. Occasionally along the way the dedicated wiffle fan will lay witness to a page of history printed in real time. Wifftober 8 had it all, the fully loaded plastic pizza, a modern classic. Here’s how it went down.

Early Friday morning, an angry mob formed in front of the league offices, steadily chanting “give us line-ups or give us softball death.” By late afternoon, a petition signed by all three fans was submitted requesting line-ups. The sun was far below the mountains by the time the Supreme One emerged from his extended bingo potluck with the wiffle moose and raccoon. By the grace of Lord Wiffle, the teams were dictated as:

Lagers – Bento Box, Chin Music, Drifter, Lonichiro, The Ox, Unshod One, West Coast, Whanny
Loggers – Bad Science, Black Cloud, El Guapo, J-Mac, Puss’n Boots, Tremendous

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Early-ish in the mid morning, the teams descended upon an oddly warm and sunny Burnham Field just a few shakes of a wiffle bat late. After the traditional undetermined amount of warm-ups, beer drinking and commiserating, the home Lagers wandered onto the field.


The Top Six - Burnham Field


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For the second year in a row, future not rookie Whanny got the start for the home Lagers. The Loggers quickly drew first blood and were hoping to hang more on the soon to not be rookie. Showing the poise of someone that might have their rookie status lifted, Whanny snuck out of the inning with just a mild flesh wound.
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The Tremendous One, an eight time Wifftober participant, confidently took the mound in the first for the visiting Loggers. A strangely shoed Unshod One looked to continue his season long offensive dominance early with a solid blast into leftfield. The Loggers were employing the Rory Mon shift, dictating that all fielders not named Rory Mon cover a 5 foot diameter space while the aforementioned Rory covers 87.5% of the field. Despite this shift, Black Cloud came stumbling along to make a running two handed grab at least four feet from his starting point.
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Cloud’s fielding feat would be one upped in the next inning when 2013 Rookie of the Year Unshod One was in a tight situation on the mound for the Lagers. Longtime rival Rory Mon stepped into the box. Rory jumped on the first pitch and punched a hard shot down the left field line. Out of nowhere, Lonichiro flew into the marshlands making a spectacular catch, raising both arms in traditional Lonichiro afterbang.

Bad Science, playing in his third straight Wifftober, came in for the Loggers in early early relief of veteran starter Tremendous. The Lagers quickly jammed up the bases and BS was looking for some help from his fielders. A little dribbler struggled into the hot box, an easy snag for El Guapo. He spooled up the old arm and threw a fine serving to the Black Cloud covering second for the double up. Inexplicably, the Dark Skies dropped the throw and the Lager rally continued.

By the time I started hitchhiking to the Friendly Confines for the middle 6 the Lagers were out front 5-3. A nice New York couple offered me a ride to Port Henry. I explained as calmly as I could yell, “Wifftober in New York is like West Coast having the common curiosity to respond on time, ain’t going to happen.”


The Middle Six -The Friendly Confines


The Friendly Confines looked spectacular, the result of the hard work of recently formed Friends of the Friendly Confines (FucofFC). I am still not sure how that acronym comes about.
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Rumors swirled that Lonichiro was in Longreacharow mode about 11 innings too early. I was debating this development with the miniature horse from Wifftober II when the oddest play in LowBall history occurred. The Lagers had Loggers pitcher Rory Mon in a non mellow situation, bases jammed and not an out on the board. A light pop was sent up just outside of the batter’s box. Rory Mon charged in for a routine grab when a slightly slurred “tag” was heard. Rory Mon snagged the pop and easily threw out the runner from about 16 inches away. Even more bizarre than the call of tag, the Lagers opted to not argue the momentum changing second half of the double play. They really should read my almost nominated for a runner up regional Peabody piece from Wifftober III. Stunning, absolutely stunning.
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Rory Mon once again found himself in the middle of a bizarre situation later in the Confines saga. He hit a sharp grounder to the hot box that was scooped up by West Coast and a throw was made to the thing. The location of this throw catapulted the greatest argument since the Beerman. At some point, Tremendous broke out the Thud versus the Thwang thesis for the prosecution. I stepped out for some of Unshod One’s delicious sausage as teams cycled players in and out of the argument. West Coast even checked the sound of a thud versus thwang on the thing.
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In a league first, the argument degraded to players turning to fans for judgment and finally a redo of just the throw. West Coast, in the wiffle equivalent of a penalty kick, charged the simulated play and promptly missed the thing with a resounding Thwang.
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Manager Cloudy Sparkersan turned to El Guapo for heavy innings during the middle six, enacting his Wifftober V strategy. The ghost of the ghost of El Guapo showed the signs of the complimentary locally sourced kale and artisan milkweed burritos he has been over enjoying out west. The Lagers dropped a soft double into right followed by Claudio drilling a sharp double down the leftfield line, 6-3 Lagers. The frosty ones continued to find their way on base until the situation board showed all red on the diamond. Unshod One fired a shot off of Guapo deep into left center. It looked like another two runs were coming across until a lumbering Black Cloud snagged the little white ball before stumbling/falling into the most famous wall in LowBall. It was another major squander for the Lagers, another not so graceful, overly dramatic sacrifice of the Cloud’s body. The Lagers continued to attack in subsequent innings but would struggle to overcome veteran pitching pose from Guapo and timely defensive highlights from the Cloud, including charging a grounder from the outfield and tipping a liner up for a secondary grab.

At the close of the 11th inning, the Lagers were still holding to a 6-3 lead with the Drifter taking the red clay for his second inning of mound life. The Loggers tightened the reins on their swings and started to get runners on base.
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They methodically picked away at the Drifter until 6 runs had come across with a mere out on the board. Cloudy Sparkersan pulled his lead-off batter, J-Mac, aside and curiously stated, “sometimes you get an Eskimo pie, sometimes you get none.” J-Mac took some hefty cuts but came back to the dug-out empty handed. Sparkersan woke up El Guapo, oddly saying, “you built this field on rock and roll, ding dong like King Kong.” El Guapo only mumbled something incomprehensible as he bobbled into the batter’s box.
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Hunter S. Thompson could not have written a better ending to El Guapo’s time at the Friendly Confines, though I am sure that I could have. With his final swing ever on his prized home field, Guapo launched the ball into the road, a grand slam, a ten run inning, a 13-6 lead, a magical moment for all in attendance, well, other than the Lagers, of course. Even the miniature horse from Wifftober II set down the beer he had stolen from Longreacharow and golf clapped.
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We all rolled down the hill to HST with the Loggers up 13-8, though some, such as myself, were curious where the runs 7&8 materialized for the Lagers.


The Bottom Six - HST


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The battle moved to the urban sanctuary of HST but it was questionable how much fight the Lagers had left after the deflating 12th. Things looked promising when the Lagers led the 13th off with a triple. Puss’n Boots locked in and made sure that runner never made it in.
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They would get their next chance against J-Mac but were only able to claw a single run out. The Loggers quickly answered with two runs of their own on doubles by Cloud and Tremendous respectively. 15-9.

The Black Cloud relied on some sharp defense by Bad Science and Rory Mon to escape his two innings unscathed. The final inning arrived with the Lagers still trailing by 6 and Rory Mon taking on the mound.
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Despite being 18 innings and 8 hours deep into the wiffle, the Loggers were still on point on defense and made it through without any further damage. Wifftober 8 to the Loggers with a 15-9 victory.
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The Loggers had given everything for the victory, sacrificing their bodies and at bats for the greater good, and looked utterly destroyed as they quietly celebrated.
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The Wifflerton Analysis


There were many questions for Loggers manager Cloudy Sparkersan at the post game press conference concerning the rumored strategy. He only stated, “it ain’t hard to drink from the Chalice, if you are drinking from the Chalice.” I tried to ask a follow question but Sparkersan had already stripped his clothes and was streaking to ND’s to “break the trophy.”
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This game was far closer than the score. If I, really well known wiffle journalist, Hugh S. Wifflerton, had to point to one advantage the Loggers exercised, it would be wily veteran arguing skills. They fielded El Guapo, J-Mac, Tremendous and Black Cloud, some of the fiercest, most confident debaters the league has ever seen. Every major argument went to the Loggers and believe me those arguments matter, to someone.

The grand storyline of El Guapo’s bobble off grand slam at the Friendly Confines will dominate future memories. But it was something else that won the game for the Loggers. Consistently through-out the game, the Lagers would load up the bases and threaten to pile on the runs. Virtually every time, the Loggers would find a way out with crafty pitching or prime time defensive plays. As Cloudy Sparkersan would say, “ducks don’t come home on their own, you have to drive your boot up their ass.”


The Wiffles Within the Wiffles


A moment of silence for two of the most important and beloved fields in LowBall history, Burnham Field and the Friendly Confines
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Hopefully we live to see another game at both.
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Lonichiro's bat and the Peacemaker at Wifftober III
Another moment of silence for one of the original vintage bats of LowBall, Lonichiro’s flames and stuff bat. This bat, along with the Peacemaker, brought forth the square letter era of LowBall and a subsequent inflation of stats. Sadly it appears that the bat has cracked and may not be legal next season. An official stay of execution has been submitted to the league offices in hopes that a repair can be made.
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With the absence of the Original Legend, the Plastic Surgeon, only four wifflers have played in all eight Wifftobers – Black Cloud, Lonichiro, The Ox and Tremendous. The march to X continues.

The Loggers have now won 5 Wifftobers to the Lagers 3. They are on a league record four Wifftober win streak.
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The Black Cloud is now on top of the LowPress player rankings. While the details of the complex algorithms used to determine the rankings remain a highly guarded secret, it has been hinted that Wifftober wins and number of Wifftobers play into the calculation.
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El Guapo has never lost a Wifftober that finishes at HST and has never been victorious when the big game has concluded elsewhere.
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The core of Tremendous and Rory Mon drank or pretended to drink from the Wiffle Scramble cup and the Wifftober Chalice this year. Only the Ox has accomplished this inconsequential feat previously.

In the four Wifftobers (III, V, VII and 8) that have played out over three fields, the middle six innings have consistently been the most important and the most active.
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This was the lowest scoring Wifftober ever.

Hugh S. Wifflerton is the celebrated author of the best selling epic "Swinging Bunt", available on Amazon for immediate shipment.

Player of the Game
Highlights: 
He hit the grand slam that iced the game, consistently found his way onto base and along with Rory Mon pitched a game high four innings
Astroglide Smooth Defense
Defensive Highlights: 
Stingy through-out the game, but four difficult plays that saved a total of seven runs.
Quote of the Game
Quote: 
He's got the velocity of a chipmunk
Player quoted: 
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