The Wiffsolstice Epic Grind

The Loggers pull out a gutsy come from behind victory under the lights of the Friendly Confines
Regular Season - Marquee
Game Date: 
June 18, 2011
Epicocity of Game: 
Epic
Lagers: 
11
Loggers: 
18

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In the damp, chill of Sunday morning, nestled up to a blazing fire on the sideline of the Friendly Confines, a lucky few fans witnessed one of the greatest wiffle battles LowBall has ever seen. The entire scene was soaked in levels of epicocity rarely experienced; a piercing damp chill reminiscent of Wifftober, the dull production creating hum of the generator behind the leftfield wall, and a full compliment of LowBallers, some grizzled veterans, some wide eyed rookies eager to make their mark. In a season already filled with classic battles, this one stands alone, in five years of brilliant LowBall wiffle, this one stands among the best. This was the Wiffsolstice Epic Grind and I, celebrated wiffle journalist Hugh Wifflerton, was there to witness it all and I remember most of it. (Editor's Note: the LowPress does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of the details of Hugh's article)
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We pick up the action in the bottom of the 8th inning. The home Lagers were in the lead 10-9 on the strength of rookie The Beebs' inaugural deep drive, a massive grand slam sent well into the trees lining the Confines' rightfield wall. To set the stage, let's rewind to the first game of the doubleheader. The Lagers entered the bottom of the 8th with a similar lead, 3-2. The Black Cloud was on the mound and uncharacteristically struggled, allowing his first 2 runs of the season. This put the Loggers in an insurmountable hole that would eventually lead to a 5-2 victory for the Lagers.

Back to the action, the management of the Loggers convened between innings and made the decision to send the Black Cloud back to the mound in hopes of holding the Lagers' lead to 1. Head LowBall scout George McNeilly commented at the time, "he just doesn't have that snap." Sometimes pitching isn't about what you do when you have your best stuff but how you perform when things are down. The Cloud adjusted his pitches and earned his paycheck, striking out 2 and preventing any further damage.

The Ghost of El Guapo strutted confidently to the mound as the fans rose to their feet. Could he continue his absolute dominance that earned him the win in game one? Would he shutdown the Loggers again and complete the Wiffsolstice sweep? Guap started off firing and quickly K'd the first Loggers' batsman. Lonichiro stepped up to the plate and the battle that has defined LowBall for 5 years added another beautiful round. In a tense back and forth, Guap expended all his pitches and finally emerged with the second K of the inning.

Things were looking dire for the visiting Loggers, down 1 with 2 outs in the 9th. After 7 and a half hours of wiffle, the Lagers were on the verge of pulling the brooms out. But the Loggers were not leaving the Confines without a fight. Suddenly runners were finding their way on and before the inning was over the Loggers had rallied to a 10-11 lead. Later Guap would be quoted as saying, "the battle with Lonichiro took it out of me and turned the inning."
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Ox took the mound in the bottom of the 9th expecting to be part of a closer by committee rotation. However, management, taking a page from Femy LeBouche's philosophy, went with a single closer. Ox fought hard against the elements, constantly drying wiffles to enable his trademark curve, but still found himself with the bases loaded. He managed to get two outs but at the same time walked in the tying run. A pitcher can face no harder a situation than bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, with the winning run at 3rd. It is stress that you cannot truly appreciate unless you have stared down that gauntlet. Ox locked in and recorded the biggest strike out of his illustrious career. The Loggers team swarmed their pitcher at midfield in relieved joy, but there was more wiffle to be played. 11-11.
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Both teams would send their veteran aces to the mound in the 10th. First the Surgeon sliced through the Loggers for three quick outs. A hall of fame performance from the iconic pitcher. Then Lonichiro put on one of the most impressive performances from the mound in recent memory. He dropped the first two batters with one and dones and looked like he might notch the most elusive record in LowBall, a three pitch, three K inning. Alas, the record was not his but the inning was. 11-11 going into the 11th.

With their bullpen depleted of surgical aces, the Lagers turned to perennial rookie Hideki O'Leary for the 11th. The Loggers bats came alive and could not be stalled. They thumped away, taking their pitches as they came, and ended up putting 7 on the board at 1 am.
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A healthy lead at their backs, the Loggers put fresh off the truck rookie John Bento Box (nickname in progress) on the mound. The rook displayed fierce heart, charging a foul ball and laying out in a full force dive. He wouldn't come up with the ball but did receive the infamous Guap "dun dun dunt dun dun dunt". The Lagers were rallying getting a couple on the board and loading up the bases, but the young pitcher bore down. The final batter would fly-out back to the pitcher.

It is difficult to place a game in history without perspective. Surely as the months and years pass, this one will grow in lore much as Matriwiffle has. But one thing can be said, it had all the elements of the best games; eager fresh rookies, wily crafty veterans, in probable comebacks, good friends, cold beer, and huge chunks of meat. It is an instant epic but will it be more as our memories dim and the myths grow. Only time will tell.

Player of the Game
Highlights: 
Lights out pitching when it mattered most, stellar management of the Loggers, and a snappy bat to power the win.
Astroglide Smooth Defense
Defensive Highlights: 
The hardest thing in wiffle is getting an out with bases loaded in the 9th, he came through and came through huge.
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Comments

Member since:
28 July 2007
Last activity:
3 years 9 weeks

Hugh, top notch recap. Hats off to a nice piece of yellow(plastic) journalism

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