News

HOT STOVE: In the Summer Time

Written by - Posted 2013-07-22 10:10 in News

7/22/2013Current Teams and Players

  • ONE MORE DAY TO SIGN UP!
  • We’re sitting at a perfect 16 teams for the Summer. But many of those teams look pretty empty compared to their five player minimums.
  • The Barnburners are likely to not join us again this season. Apparently the NFL is more important to them than keeping their #1 National Ranking in the country. Plus, Sunday’s in August they like to play dress-up.

7/10/2013

  • A slow start for the Summer Sign Up! The deadline is earlier this year, sign up today!
  • The reigning World Champion and #1 Nationally Ranked Blandsford Barnburners are mum on returning for the summer. They never have, but now that they finally graduated from high school, they have no excuses other than watching NFL football.
  • SIX TEAMS ARE CONFIRMED TO RETURN
  • 7th Linning Stretch has intentions of play the Summer, but manager Nick West’s friends tend to abandon him.
  • Canvassers are the only team that has played every season the league has existed, with 5 World Championships in the book, a weak summer might be their 6th.
  • DC Twits are reeling from a disappointing Spring, is Deputy Commissioner Greg Hudson worrying too much about the league and not his own team?
  • Dupont Circle Jerks are under NEW management. Brett Shegogue is taking over for John Hamlett who is not “retiring”, but stepping back to focus on his side career.
  • Natty Brohs are looking for their first summer season.
  • Suns Out Guns Out is fresh off their recent post-season birth and is ready to go deeper this year.

Higman At The Bat

Written by - Posted 2013-07-18 13:35 in Blog

This weekend, the PWL All Stars, playing as the Nationals, compete in the 2nd Annual NWLA Tournament. The team’s All Star representative is Kevin Higman. This is his story.

Higman At the Bat

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the DC Nats that day;
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Jim Shannon died at first, and DiCrosta did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Higman could get but a whack at that -
They’d put up even money, now, with Higman at the bat.
But Flowers preceded Higman, as did also Shannon, Jack,
And the former was a pudding and the latter was a hack;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Higman’s getting to the bat.
But Flowers let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Shannon, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jack safe at second and Andy a-hugging third.
Then from 5 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Higman, mighty Higman, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Higman’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in HIgman’s bearing and a smile on Higman’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Higman at the bat.
Ten eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Higman’s eye, a sneer curled Higman’s lip.
And now the hollow plastic sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Higman stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Higman. “Strike one,” the whack of the strike board said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Rip the board from the ground, it’s wrong!” shouted someone on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have destroyed it had not Higman raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Higman’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Higman still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”
“Fraud!” cried the maddened fan, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Higman and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Higman wouldn’t let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Higman’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence the plastic bat upon the mat where the plate is drawn.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Higman’s blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Columbus, or DC — mighty Higman has struck out.

LONDON TOURNAMENT: Back to Basics

Written by - Posted 2013-07-13 10:22 in News

Commissioner Gallaway announced the roster today for the PWL All Star team that will be returning to London, Ohio, this summer to represent the league at the 2013 London Wiffleball Tournament.

This will be the seventh tournament with PWL representation. The event, the largest slow-pitch wiffleball tournament in the world, will be held Saturday, July 20, 2013.

For several seasons the PWL has sent two teams, the Nationals and the Senators. However, with the NWLA Tournament being held simultaneously with the London Tournament, the league is cutting back to one team, causing the teams to be merged together for the first time.

Five veterans of previous tournaments, two previous Nationals, two previous Senators, and one who was both, will be joined by a new player, Adriano DeSorrento to complete the roster.

In the past the Senators and Nationals have both made deep runs in the tournament, but never broken into the final four teams.

Past London Stories


2013 Potomac Wiffleball League Nationals



#POSBT
#3OFRR
Ross Duenas – Manager

Ross Duenas is stepping into the manager role after having played in more London games than any other player. He’s been a member of the Nationals roster for most of his career, but participated as a Senator in 2011, so will have experience with the mix of players he has to manage.

Duenas is certainly a first ballot Hall of Famer for his PWL career. He played in two World Series, winning one, and is the all time single season leader in singles and runs. Duenas currently resides in San Diego, California.

His favorite airline: Quantas.

Adriano DeSorrento

Adriano DeSorrento is the lone rookie on the London roster. With some talent stolen for the NWLA tournament a strong bat was needed for London. DeSorrento’s strong showing at the Home Run Derby this Spring earned him the nod over other London virgins.

DeSorrento is a four time player of the week nominee, and has nominations for MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, Gold Glove and Manager of the Year, but he hasn’t won a single piece of hardware. He was named to the National 2nd Team for Rookies by the NWLA in 2012.

His favorite rash: Contact dermatitis.



#POSBT
#24OF/EHSR



#POSBT
#6SS/PLL
Kris Garcia

Kris Garcia is the only guy who’s ever tripled for a Washington team, and perhaps, for any team, at the London Tournament. His fielding and aggressive play will be important for the Nationals to go deep, and if anyone else can be trusted to play SS, he should get some pitching innings too.

Garcia is PWL royalty, with career numbers putting him on the league leaders for most categories that you care about. He also has one of the few non-Canvasser/Barnburner/Wheelchair World Series rings that exist in the league. He has won 4 Player of the Week Awards, one Gold Glove and was named to the Nation 2nd Team for Hitters by NWLA in 2009.

His favorite polygon: Enneagon.

Colin Gannon

Colin Gannon has struggled to find his role in London, he can do a little bit of everything, pitch, play SS, play OF, hit, he just can’t do any of it spectacularly well. He’s also working off a foot injury and won’t be officially cleared to resume wiffleball activities until shortly before the tournament. Perhaps this injury wake up call is what he needed to get his life, and his wiffleball career in order.

Gannon is a five time PWL World Champion with the Barnburners, and has served as their manager most of that time. He was named Manager of the Year in 2011, won a Gold Glove in 2009, and was named to the National 2nd Team by NWLA for Pitchers in 2012.

His favorite anklet: Jute.



#POSBT
#13EH/SS/PSR



#POSBT
#16P/EHRR
Joe Gortenburg

Joe Gortenburg is the ace of the London staff and won’t be out-juked or out-trick pitched by any Ohio farm boys. In addition to pitching, he leads the Nationals in career HR/AB at the tournament, but will need some rest and relaxation time to keep his mind focused at the plate.

Gortenburg’s official PWL career was short lived, mostly due to laziness on his part, but what did exist was great. Including leading a last place team, the old Masterbatters (one word) to the playoffs in his only full season. He won one Player of the Week Award and was also named the Rookie of the Year in Spring 2007. He has more London AB’s than he does PWL AB’s.

His favorite song: My Humps by Black Eyed Peas.

Ty Fletcher

Ty Fletcher a solid utility player that every team should want on the bench but no autograph seeker ever recognizes. He has the second best slugging percentage of any National this season, but runs hot and cold at the plate. A solid glove in the field, he can be counted on to provide rest for a starter or as a late inning defensive replacement.

Fletcher is a five time PWL World Champion with the Barnburners and was nominee this past season, (his fifth in the league, but first with enough AB’s to qualify) for Rookie of the Year. He does believe though that if we award MVP’s for the World Series, he would have least one, and possibly two awards.

His favorite equation: Cubic.



#POSBT
#7EH/OFRR

NWLA TOURNAMENT: America’s Team Returns

Written by - Posted 2013-07-05 00:17 in News

The All Stars, at least tier of those who were available, of the Potomac Wiffleball League are headed back to Columbus, Ohio, in two weeks to battle for the national championship of wiffleball, the National Wiffle League Association Tournament. The team will play at the PWL Nationals.

The second annual event, which is co-hosted by the PWL and largely organized by Commissioner Chris Gallaway, will feature 13 leagues from around the country battling for wiffleball fame in a fast pitch, base running, official yellow bat and ball tournament. A preliminary round of games will seed all 13 teams in a double elimination tournament to determine the champion.

Last season the PWL was 2-4, a tie for fifth place out of the original eight teams. Many of the other leagues participating for a second time are upgrading their rosters as the initial success of the tournament has raised the stakes for this year. The PWL, however, had taken a different approach and has downgraded the team for this year’s event.

Five members of the roster, several of whom should have been cut after last year, are returning. The lone player not returning, four time MVP and four time Cy Young Award winner Joe Thaman. His replacement, a Moose Knuckle, Andrew Flowers who is 0-for-3 on Player of the Week wins.

Despite the challenges, Commissioner Gallaway, who is managing the team again, is optimistic about their chances.

“I’m confident we’ll improve this year. We learned some things last time that are going to help us. We’re dealt a huge disadvantage from the get go in this tournament because of the pitching. As a medium pitch league in a fast pitch tournament, our players have the toughest time adjusting. But, with that year under our belt, we’re ready.”


2013 Potomac Wiffleball League Nationals



#POSBT
#4P/EHRR
Nicholas DiCrosta

DiCrosta had mixed results on the mound in last season’s tournament, but his consistent bat is an important part of the Nationals plan for success.

Certainly a PWL Hall of Famer, his name appears everywhere in the all-time league leaders lists, and he has a World Series ring to go along with an MVP Award.

He will be part of the three man pitching rotation and will remain in the lineup as an extra hitter or designated hitter when he’s not pitching.

His favorite movie: Tootsie.

Andrew Flowers

Flowers is the rookie on this team trying to fill unfillable shoes of Joe Thaman. While he can’t help on the mound, he is expected to be a solid offensive replacement.

Constantly overlooked in awards voting, mostly because everyone hates his team, and his teammates, Flowers has quietly put up stellar numbers at the plate and dominates in the field. He earned his spot with a great Spring campaign.

Flowers will play one of the two outfield positions.

His favorite store: Jelly Belly Factory Outlet.



#POSBT
#11OFRR



#POSBT
#3P/OFRR
Matt Gagnon

Gagnon earned his return spot on this year’s team with his pitching. The loss of Thaman has left a hole Gagnon is going to have to help fill, despite being a huge offensive liability.

After three seasons in the PWL, the jury is still out on whether he’ll break-through in the history books. No one plays the game harder, and no one is less liked for it.

Gagnon will be splitting up pitching duties, and may see some outfield responsibilities, but expect to see a designated hitter in the box for him.

His ideal date night: Selling Plasma then Five Guys.

Kevin Higman

Higman was the surprise of the tournament for the Nationals in 2012. He led the team in batting and is the most solid defensive player on the squad.

He battled a temporary re-location away from DC so his PWL numbers were mixed for this partial third season. Expect him to be back and a major contributor to whatever team can sign him.

Higman will be covering one of the two outfield positions and getting as many at bats as possible. He will also serve as the PWL representative in the All Star Game.

His favorite candy: Gummy Bears.



#POSBT
#22OFRR



#POSBT
#2EH/OFRR
Jim Shannon

Shannon didn’t break out in the 2012 tournament as expected, but adjusting from a slow-pitch underhanded tournament one morning, then a fast pitch tournament the same night can be tough for anyone and he’s expected to perform better this year without the distraction of London.

Shannon is a two time batting triple crown winner, and member of the five time World Champion Blandsford Barnburners. His PWL legacy is pretty safe.

He will be an extra hitter or designated hitter, and may play some backup time in the outfield, but he really hates to play the field, especially when it’s hot. Shannon will serve as the PWL representative in the Home Run Derby.

His favorite website: Pinterest.

Jack Shannon

Shannon, the other one, shocked everyone in 2012 with the worst offensive performance of the team. The only bright spot from last year, apparently he can pitch a little bit. He’ll have a chance to redeem himself at the plate while serving as a critical member of the three man rotation.

We’re not sure if last year’s NWLA motivated him, but Shannon was on a tear this Spring in the PWL. Leading the league in four of the six batting and pitching triple crown categories, and winning an MVP on the way to leading the Barnburners to their fifth World Championship. Hopefully that PWL fire will continue through to NWLA.

Shannon will be pitching, and serving as an extra hitter when he’s not on the mound.

His favorite sauce: Bechamel.



#POSBT
#39P/EHRR

Champions Dinner: A New Tradition (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-06-16 17:18 in News

The Champion’s Dinner was held for the first time at the Gravelly Point immediately following the playing of the World Series. The dinner originally began at various bars and restaurants before settling at the PWL Hall of Fame the last several seasons. The Hall of Fame building was demolished last fall, forcing the event to move.

The Park Service did not do an estimate of attendance, but league officials believe it was at least the second best attended Champions Dinner in history, probably beaten by the suite at Nationals Park in Spring 2011 when players were recognized on the field before the game.

“I’m really pleased with the turnout for the Champions Dinner, and the fact that we were able to bring some additional folks out for the World Series is definitely a plus. We’ll talk it over in the league office, but this new format might be a keeper for future seasons”, Commissioner Gallaway said.

The Commissioner’s Trophy was presented to the Blandsford Barnburners, who technically hosted the event, who saw their name added for the 5th time. They also took formal possession of the traveling version of the Commissioner’s Trophy and promised to do very bad things to it.

The results of the league voting, which you probably saw an email or two about, were also announced for the awards.

  • Jack Shannon of the Blandsford Barnburners won Most Valuable Player after an amazing season both at bat and on the mound. He had won Rookie of the Year in Spring 2009, but hasn’t had any hardware since then.
  • Neal Kovach of Ha’chi Mountaineers shocked everyone by winning the Cy Young Award. This is the second year in a row that Joe Thaman has been upset in the award for the pitcher in the league. Before Jeff Nitto was last season Thaman had won four consecutive awards.
  • Rookie of the Year honors went to Alex Cohn of Besley Bashers, despite finishing the last two weeks of the season in a cast after dislocating his thumb taking second base during Week 5.
  • Michael Burns of Suns Out Guns Out won the Gold Glove Award for the Fielder position, his second time winning this award.
  • Rookie Bryan Wood of Porkchop Sandwiches claimed the Gold Glove Award for a Catcher.
  • Chris Marzur of Suns Out Guns Out picked up his second career win for Gold Glove for a Pitcher.
  • New Team of the Year honors went to the Besley Bashers.
  • Christopher Keeven of Superman’s Wheelchair won his 3rd career Manager of the Year Award.
  • The inaugural Web Gem of the Year Award went to Michael Burns of Suns Out Guns Out, for throwing out Matt Gagnon at home plate. Gagnon and Burns recreated the event for those in attendance.

The league leaders in all of the triple crown categories for batting, pitching and fielding received certificates.

Doing the event at the fields allowed a home run contest to take place. The league hasn’t held a contest since Summer 2010 when the last All Star Game was held.

All rostered players were eligible to participate and 26 players competed. Each player got five “outs” to see how many home runs they could hit. Any swing of the bat that wasn’t a home run was an out. After the open round, the top four hitters, including ties would do it again. The total home runs hit by a player would determine the winner. Five players were tied for fourth place, so eight players advanced to the second round, with Adriano DeSorrento of Nasty Boys winning the title for most home runs.

Players advancing to the second round:

  • Adriano DeSorrento – 6
  • Ty Fletcher – 5
  • Alex Filides – 4
  • Jim Shannon – 4
  • Joseph Thaman – 3
  • Matt Gagnon – 3
  • Don McClintock – 2
  • Nicholas DiCrosta – 2

The contest was sponsored by BP, because they know how to “drill” home runs and DeSorrento was presented a $20 BP gas card for winning.

The player with the longest home run, Brian Burrell of Natty Brohs was also presented a $20 BP gas card.

If this Champions Dinner format is continued, it also creates a possibility that in addition to holding another home run contest, it’s possible that the long lost (but often requested) All Star Game could return to the league.

Barnburners Champions of the World (x5)

Written by - Posted 2013-06-16 15:32 in News

The Blandsford Barnburners beat Superman’s Wheelchair two games to none to claim their 5th World Championship. They became the first team to ever be unbeaten in both the regular season and the postseason.

The series was a rematch of their last title game, from Spring 2012, when they came from behind in the bottom of the 6th inning of game three to win.

They didn’t need to come back much in this series, but they definitely felt the pressure in Game 1. In the 2nd inning Todd Ogg put Wheelchair up 1-0 on a solo home run against Jack Shannon, who replaced brother Jim Shannon on the mound during the at-bat. The Barnburners knotted it right back up in the bottom of the frame though, when Jim Shannon grounded out to score Colin Gannon behind his single and Ty Fletcher double.

It remained tied until the 5th, when Aaron Christoff hit a solo home run after Ty Fletcher couldn’t handle a foul ball. Fletcher didn’t get an error, but it was play that could have been made, and looked like it could cost the Barnburners the game. Blandsford came back in the bottom of the inning though, after Gannon doubled and Jim Shannon launched a two run bomb that turned out to be the game winner.

Game two moved to the Green field with Wheelchair taking home field advantage. This time the Barnburners struck first, jumping on Joe Thaman in the top of the 2nd for three runs. A Fletcher single and a Jim Shannon two run homer started them off. Colin Gannon singled and advanced to second on a peg attempt, putting in him scoring position for a Ty Fletcher RBI double. Wheelchair got one back in the bottom of the inning when Christoff drove home Todd Ogg, who had doubled, with a single.

A Jack Shannon solo shot put the Barnburners back up three, with a 4-1 lead in the top of the 3rd. Wheelchair cut the lead to two in the bottom of the fourth when Joe Thaman grounded out to drive in Chris Keeven after he doubled. The double made Keeven 1 for 8 on the day, and Thaman, despite the RBI, was 0 for 8 in the series. Everyone went in order in the 5th and 6th, giving the Barnburners their 5th series in five tries.

The Filides Forecast: World Series Predictions

Written by - Posted 2013-06-15 21:35 in Blog

About the Author: Alex Filides is the guy most of the league hates for no reason, and some of the league hates for very good reasons. He’s aggressive in the game, eats, sleeps and breathes wiffleball, and left the winning run in two postseason series stranded on third base.

Barnburners vs. Superman’s Wheelchair

Barnburners wins series 2-0

The new looks Barnburners with their pitching rotation has really flourished this season. It makes it difficult for any team to have an offensive game plan going against a 4 man pitching rotation. The Barnburners have had their strongest season by far, both offensively and on the mound.

Joe Thaman is Wheelchair’s top ace and arguably the best pitcher in the PWL. The key to the success of Wheelchair is Thaman being able to throw his drop/curve over for a strike, if he has that pitch working, he’s going to be very difficult to hit. He doesn’t always have to throw it for a strike, but it will get the Barnburners hitters thinking.

At times, it’s been tough to figure out what Wheelchair will do offensively against any particular team, sometimes they have good days and not so good days at the plate as a team.

There is no question the Barnburners are the best hitting team in the league. Have they seen Thaman enough times to be able to figure him out? Thaman will need to change speeds while throwing low and away strikes to have success.

Wheelchair offensively is led by Thaman and first baseman, Chris Keeven. Both are strong hitters and can lead the charge by themselves. Todd Ogg has some pop and can hit for average.

The Barnburners are young and strong and can most likely recover from playing back to back days, although Wheelchair has a young team as well, but may be tired from playing back to back, we’ll see. Wind is also blowing out on both fields, in addition to having home field advantage strongly favors the Barnburners.

As crazy and as far out there as this sounds, it is my belief that if Thaman can hold the Barnburners to 0 runs then Wheelchair will win the game. It took me a while to think about it and it’s a gamble but I’m willing to sacrifice my reputation by making such a statement. The guys on Wheelchair are really a great group of people, however with all due respect the Barnburners are the #1 team in the nation and have looked solid with no flaws to their game. In the past, this writer had question if they had really deserved to be the #1 team in the country, however after watching them this season it is definitely worth the argument.

Barnburners (keys to the game)

  • playing their game and staying loose.
  • pitching aggressively in the zone, knowing they have solid backups.
  • DiCrosta distracting them with his fine commentary.
  • see above

Wheelchair (keys to the game)

  • Thaman being able to throw his drop/curve for a strike.
  • Thaman changing speeds, thowing low and away and mixing up pitches, maybe adding a new pitch.
  • Holding the Barnburners to a single on hits.

World Series Preview: No Lose Scenario (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-06-15 19:12 in News


On Sunday, the #1 ranked team in the country is going to play the #11 ranked team in the country. Despite these two top national teams hailing from within miles of each other, and both playing all of their seasons on fields within feet of each other, this matchup will settle the World Series. This is the one the fans wanted, this is the one the television guys wanted, this is the contest we’d like to see every week of the season if we could. The #1 seeded Blandsford Barnburners will host the #2 seeded Superman’s Wheelchair with the winners claiming the title of World Champion.

The Blandsford Barnburners have won four World Championships, one for each of the four Spring seasons they’ve played to date. One more will tie them for the all-time franchise record at five with the Canvassers. They cruised past the Moose Knuckles in the DCS, similar to how they cruised past all competition this season. Their Cy Young nominated pitcher didn’t even toss on Saturday, their third best pitcher threw a perfect game to send them to the Series. Their offense continues to be unmatched, and if Jack Shannon doesn’t win the season MVP Sunday afternoon then we’ll probably stop letting the players vote on awards. There is a reason this team is ranked #1 in the country, and they are on a mission this season to live up to it. After tallying their first perfect season at 14-0, they are now in a position to do something no other team has ever done. Not only go undefeated during the regular season, but not have a loss during the post-season either. It’s hard to imagine that if they play the way they have been that we won’t see that record setting feat.

Superman’s Wheelchair is no stranger to World Championships, holding onto three of their own, ranking third all-time on the franchise list. They have gobbled up their titles during the Summer seasons, in the absence of the Barnburners. A win would put them at parity, in total titles, and in head-to-head World Series, with the kids from Manassas. Joseph Thaman remains the heart and soul of this team, both on offense and pitching. As goes Joe, so goes Wheelchair. They batted a tight three man line up in their DCS Round 2 victory over Suns Out Guns Out that will serve them well in the World Series if they continue it. Their bench players are both above league average, but when you’re in the World Series against the #1 team in the country, you have to fire all the bullets, and sticking with the big three, Thaman, Ogg and Keeven are their best bullets. They survived a scare in Game 1 of the DCS, with Suns Out forcing extra innings. Wheelchair never dominates their opponents, but they find a way to win. If they get in a position to win on Sunday, they have to complete the kill shot.

In regular season games, these teams are 1-1 from the Spring 2010 season, with Wheelchair beating the Barnburners 2-1 Week 4, but forfeiting to them Week 2. That was Wheelchair’s rookie season, and six seasons ago is practically irrelevant.

Their first epic World Series battle should have been Spring 2011, but Wheelchair was eliminated early in the playoffs that season after Joe Thaman’s daughter was conveniently born the day of the first round of the playoffs.

Destiny for these two iconic franchises was pushed to the Spring 2012 World Series, and it lived up to expectations. Superman’s Wheelchair drew first blood, winning Game 1 2-1, as Christopher Keeven launched two solo bombs, and Joe Thaman held the Barnburners to just a solo Jack Shannon shot.

The Barnburners knotted up the series winning Game 2 in a lopsided 6-2 contest. The Barnburners out-homered Wheelchair 3-2, and benefitted from two critical Mark Nicholson errors to control the game almost from wire to wire.

That set up a final decisive game to settle the affair. It did not start well for the Barnburners. Colin Gannon gave up four runs in the top of the first inning on three doubles and a three run homer to Christopher Keeven, and left the game without recording a single out. Wheelchair added on another run, on a Nicholson home run, putting them up 5-0 in the top of the 3rd. The Barnburners got two back in the bottom of the frame though when Thaman struggled, on Gannon and Jim Shannon solo shots before Keeven came on in relief. Thaman added an insurance run in the top of the 5th, putting Wheelchair up 6-2. That score stood heading into the bottom of the final inning. In the scorer’s tent, the Commissioner had screwed Wheelchair’s name onto the Commissioner’s Trophy for its inevitable trip to their clubhouse. Keeven needed just two outs to claim the game and the series, but neither him, nor Mark Nicholson, who would come in to try and save the game could record an out. A double, single, double, double and two run home run later, the Barnburners won 7-6. The plaque with Wheelchair’s name was pulled off, and the Barnburners were put on for the fourth time.

Regardless of the outcome Sunday, this is the right series, these are the right teams, and expect this one to be worth the wait. It’s a re-match of all re-matches.

Barnburner Manager Colin Gannon was confident in the clubhouse after the DCS, “This is god given, only thing we gotta do is show up.”

Wheelchair skipper Christopher Keeven had only one word for reporters, “revenge”.

Sunday, June 16

10:30 AM – Game 1 (Blue)
Superman’s Wheelchair at Blandsford Barnburners

Joseph Thaman
Jim Shannon
 
(12-0) 0.93 ERA
(3-0) 0.48 ERA
 

11:30 AM – Game 2 (Green)
Blandsford Barnburners at Superman’s Wheelchair

Colin Gannon
Christopher Keeven
 
(1-0) 0.00 ERA
(1-0) 0.00 ERA
 

12:30 PM – Game 3 (Blue)
Superman’s Wheelchair at Blandsford Barnburners
(if necessary)

Umpires will be Jim Kroll and Bob Angeli. Tony Ragano will be the official scorekeeper. Craig Fifer will have public address responsibilities and Nicholas Dicrosta will do color commentary.

DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES #6 PREVIEW (SP13): DROWNING ICARUS

Written by - Posted 2013-06-13 23:07 in News


Despite recently losing their first game of the season, and being the only DCS that needed the full three games, don’t assume Wheelchair is coming into this series weak. Suns Out Guns Out has their work cut out for them after barely sneaking past a Gumballers team who was without their best fielder and hitter to advance. Expect this DCS to be more competitive than the other semi-final, but this is mostly an appetizer for what should be another amazing World Series on Sunday.

Wheelchair, as they have twice before in postseason, took three games to eliminate Scared Hitless. That game two always seems to burn them, but they always finish strong. Thaman got ejected in game 2, and that has to be high on the strategy list for any team hoping to crash the Wheelchair. A slightly improved offense for Wheelchair this season has given them a boost. But it doesn’t matter, they fall apart without Thaman on the mound.

Manager Chris Keeven was asked at media day about Wheelchair’s opponent. “When I woke up Monday morning, I didn’t know anything about Suns Out Guns Out. Despite their several seasons of experience in the PWL, they have for the most part been able to avoid playing us. I think that lack of familiarity works to our advantage. Regardless, we’ll put the tall lefty on the bump and play a hard 6, just like we do every weekend. Hopefully, we’ll make enough plays to earn the opportunity to play in the World Series and win our fourth championship on Sunday.”

Suns Out Guns Out comes into this series feeling good about winning their first ever postseason games. Their overdue return to the playoffs could have been short lived drawing last seasons #2 overall seed and a team that would have been the #3 seed this season except for two forfeits. However, the management issues continued at Gumballers, and Suns Out faced a team missing a core member of the lineup. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the situation Suns Out finds themselves now in. Ace pitcher Chris Mazur is undergoing a pigment alteration surgery and is unavailable Saturday. This is a huge blow to Suns Outs chance to upset Wheelchair, and could be fatal. McNally can throw a serviceable game, and is acceptable in relief, but is no ace. And, once McNally is done, their only choice is Burns who pitches like Oprah gives stuff away, everybody gets a hit!

Manager McNally was respectful of Wheelchairs reputation in pre-series press availability. “We recognize that we have a very tough task ahead of us. The team we are about to face is very accomplished, both this year and in previous seasons. Our plan to overcome this challenge is to implement a five-point plan: 1) Continue our league-best defense (our opinion), 2) Timely hits, 3) No sleeves, 4) Lots of caffeine for Mike, and 5) A cooler with just the right amount of beer.”

The two teams have met once before, way back in the Summer 2011 Season. Wheelchair won 13-0 in a four inning run rule that Michael Burns pitched for Suns Out.

Sunday, June 9

1:30 PM – Game 1 (Green)
Suns Out Guns Out at Superman’s Wheelchair

William McNally
Joseph Thaman
 
(3-3) 2.11 ERA
(12-0) 0.83 ERA
 

2:30 PM – Game 2 (Blue)
Superman’s Wheelchair at Suns Out Guns Out

Christopher Keeven
William McNally
 
(1-0) 0.00 ERA
(3-3) 2.11 ERA
 

3:30 PM – Game 3 (Green)
Suns Out Guns Out at Superman’s Wheelchair
(if necessary)

Bill Healey and Ben Gottlieb will umpire the series. Kevin Wall will be the official scorekeeper and the public address announcer has not been announced.

DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES #5 PREVIEW (SP13): MOOSE JERKY

Written by - Posted 2013-06-13 23:06 in News


The Moose Knuckles lost the World Series last summer, but it will take a miracle for them to get a chance to lose another this Spring. Barring a Blandsford Barnburner collapse, which likely means a twin fight that includes limb loss, possibly decapitation, the #6 seeded Knuckles are showing up to watch their own funeral over the course of a dozen innings.

The Barnburners quickly dispatched 7th Linning Stretch in the first round of the DCS in two games. The Shannon boys continued their dominance at the plate, leading the first round in slugging. They have been on cruise control this season, and this series will definitely be their toughest challenge to date. They easy schedule hasn’t made them soft though, or vulnerable, they’ve worked this season on a solid game plan that will serve them well. Expect them to come out swinging, and any member of their pitching staff, which is everyone on the team, is more than adequate to shut down the Knuckles offense.

Manager Colin Gannon says the key to the series is, “Because…I…think I could help…with the force.”

The Moose Knuckles have pulled it together the last few weeks after struggling early in the season. Their chest bumping bravado has returned a little bit, despite having to settle for a Wild Card after being last season’s top seed. Their upset of an overseeded Ha’chi in the first round was predictable, but still took a 14 inning game in which they got four men deep in the bullpen to complete. Meeting the Barnburners during the final week of the season probably helped them more than hurt them, but it’s unclear if they learned anything with Matt Gagnon’s early exit. Speaking of which, not having a relief pitcher continues to be their biggest weakness. If they were smart, Andrew Flowers would pitch every inning and bat first, Jon Gagnon would bat second, and they’d take the automatic out for the third spot. But, they aren’t smart.

Manager Matt Gagnon shot straight with the media earlier this week, “the Moose Knuckles plan for our upcoming series with the Barnburners is to convince Biogenesis founder, Tony Bosch to finally roll on his best clients – the Shannon brothers of the PWL.”

The two teams have met only once, during Week 7 of this season. The Knuckles were up 2-0 through four innings, then Gagnon was ejected and all hell broke loose. The Barnburners picked up three runs quickly off Andrew Flowers, and that was the final.

Sunday, June 9

1:30 PM – Game 1 (Blue)
Moose Knuckles at Blandsford Barnburners

Matt Gagnon
Jack Shannon
 
(7-3) 0.46 ERA
(5-0) 0.22 ERA
 

2:30 PM – Game 2 (Green)
Blandsford Barnburners at Moose Knuckles

Jim Shannon
Matt Gagnon
 
(3-0) 0.48 ERA
(7-3) 0.46 ERA
 

3:30 PM – Game 3 (Blue)
Moose Knuckles at Blandsford Barnburners
(if necessary)

Harold Ward and Jerry Shapiro will umpire the series. Nicholas DiCrosta will handle public address duties and Alex Filides will be the official scorekeeper.