I remember when I first joined PWL and there were rumors and talk of a tournament in London. Wow, I thought, they play wiffleball in London too? This league is great! Well needless to say, I found out that it was in fact London, Ohio…Not England.
This year, I managed a PWL team filled with veterans and rookies alike. We were comprised of Colin Gannon, Adriano DeSorrento, Kris Garcia, Michael Burns, Sam Smith, and Steve DuBois. I had a lot of thinking to do with building this lineup, however after watching some previous years game tape as well as watching some practices, I built the lineup out. We’d go Garcia (p), Gannon (s), DeSorrento (lf), Burns (rf), Smith, and DuBois.
Arriving at the “fields” was quite the sight. Situated on a farm in London, there were roughly 25 fields, ranging in size, shape, and on field conditions. Playing in the tournament were 66 teams total, that’s a lot.
After unloading the car thanks to the amazing help all day from Ty fletcher, we made base camp full of snacks and…drinks. We then had our first pool game. If not for the heroic pitching of Garcia, we should’ve gone 0-4 in pool play. Thanks to his pitching and some timely hitting, we were able to get out of pool play going 3-1 with a run differential of +10, earning us the number 18 seed and a matchup with Bradley and the Jets.
Proving more difficult than expected, we went into the final inning down 1, where Burns ripped a ball down the line, dodging a pegging attempt and racing towards home where he was ruled safe to tie the game. Now if you were actually there, you’d know that he should’ve only been given one base (third) on the throwing error, that the slide into home (illegal), and that he was hit in the foot on the peg (out). But hey that didn’t matter, we had tied it and went on to win!
Our next game saw a bit of home run derby open up for us against The Gentlemen, a tournament favorite. After a lot of back and forth, we finally prevailed and advanced to the elite eight (maybe the sweet 16, no one knows because they didn’t use the boards Chris bought for them). We would face the #2 seed Warthogs, who had a +47 run differential in 4 pool play games. Unsurprisingly they came out hitting, placing balls exactly where we weren’t and making it look easy. We lost the game, but we fought hard and were able to go out respectively.
Here are some things I learned from this tournament:
- It always rains this weekend
- Pack a hoody
- Some teens are better than us at wiffleball
- Ty’s boot smells disgusting
- Burns can drink a lot
- Someone has a running tally of “Collins”
- This is not the best organized tournament
- This should just be held in the DC area
- Male bonding
Until next year London…Ohio.