Ten weeks ago, Ten teams were on their journey for the Fall 2015 – Oakland Division Swenson Cup. Only one team would prevail however. With anything and everything that could happen on tournament day, kickball analysts were stunned by the tournament results. While teams brought out the BBQ’s, cornhole, football and lawn chairs galore, the kickball fields was the place to be for the real action.
#10 Welcome Death Row Upsets #7 Baby Bouncies 6-0
In the first play in game of the day, tenth seeded Welcome to Death Row finally showed what they were capable of when their offense and defense come to life, upsetting a tough Baby Bouncies squad. The inmates wasted no time getting things rolling putting up a 3 spot in the first inning. A leadoff walk started the offense and was capped by a huge two run double. Another single would score the third run as Death Row finally found themselves in an advantageous position. On the other side, Baby Bouncies struggled with their offense early on and could not match the runs Death Row put up in the early part of the game as they failed to get even a single runner past second base though the first three innings. Death Row meanwhile, would capitalize on a rough Bouncies error in the third to stretch their lead to 4-0 and plate two additional insurance runs in the fifth that all but put an end to Baby Bouncies’ inaugural GSK campaign. A leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth kept the Bouncies hopes alive but was quickly snuffed out by the stellar pitching and defense exhibited all game by Death Row. With the win, Welcome to Death Row moves on to face second seeded Green Grenades in the Quarterfinals, while Baby Bouncies completes their season at 3-6-1
#8 Krusty Krab Pizza, scores Early, Holds on to Beat #9 Almost Classy, 6-1
The #8 vs #9 matchup got off to a quick start with the first kicker sending a booming blast to deep right field. The Classy outfielder appeared to have a good read on the ball, but got mixed up with an outfielder on the adjacent field. The ball fell to the ground, just out of reach and the lead off runner was on base with a stand-up double. The next KKP kicker drove a line drive up the middle. The defense tried to get the lead runner out at third, but the throw came in a bit too late. The kicker was able to advance to second on the throw. Still with none out, the kicker in the third spot kicked a fly ball to right field. The fielder was able to catch the ball for the first out, but both runners were able to tag up and score. Krusty Krab Pizza were able to keep the line up moving, and plated three more runs in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Almost Classy were able to get a runner on base, but couldn’t get a clutch kick to send them home. After a scoreless top of the 2nd, Classy was able to get on the scoreboard with a pair of outfield shots. After a scoreless third inning, Krusty Krabs were able to add an insurance run to extend their lead to 6-1. Late in the game, Classy was able to get their offense in gear, loading the bases with only one out. The next kicker grounded to the third baseman who made a heads-up play to barely get the lead runner out at the plate. With two outs, the next kicker launched the ball into left-center. Unfortunately for Almost Classy, a great catch ended the potential comeback sending Krusty Krab Pizza onto the Quarterfinals to face top seeded Ginger Balls, while Almost Classy completes their season at 3-6-1.
#2 Green Grenades Hold on to Defeat #10 Welcome to Death Row, 3-1
Solid defensive performances by both teams were on display in the quarter-final battle between second seeded Green Grenades and tenth seeded Welcome to Death Row, who was looking for the major upset. The first inning had no hits by either team, as bunts and fly outs quickly finished the inning. Green Grenades pitcher displayed some nasty sidewinder throws making it difficult for Death Row to get a solid foot on the ball in the top half of the second. Death Rows pitcher was also throwing some filthy stuff with the right combination of speed, and awkward bounces to end the second inning hitless. Green Grenades attacked and broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Grenades kicker was able to get on with a bunt and quickness. Green Grenades would then kick back to back laser singles into center field. Then a line drive and fielding error with quick speed cleared the bases giving Green Grenades a 3-0 lead. Death Row would answer right back with a bunt that was overthrown causing the leadoff kicker to make it safely to 2nd base. A fly out and a single would score Death Rows only run of the game. Both teams threatened to score again in the fifth but were unable to plate any runs. Death Row threatened in the top of the sixth, but to no avail and Green Grenades closed out the 3-1 victory. Green Grenades moves onto the Semifinals to face off against the winner of #3 I’d Hit That and #6 Whistle Kicks, while Welcome to Death Row completes their season at 2-7-2
#5 Wasted Wookies defeats #4 Throwback Thursdaze 9-0 in one sided affair
With two teams with nearly identical records facing off in the first quarterfinal of the afternoon, this game looked to be a tight contest dominated by pitching and defense that carried both of these squads through the regular season. Wasted Wookies, however, had a different script in mind for this contest. Early on the game was indeed dominated by pitching and defense with only 1 run scoring in the first three innings and each team trading excellent defensive plays to keep the content close. Wasted Wookies opened the scoring in the first with heads up baserunning, taking advantage of sloppy throwing decisions in the field by Throwback Thursdaze. Thursdaze would battle back with baserunners of their own in the second and third innings but failed to get that clutch kick when they needed it. In the fourth, the Wookies grabbed this game by the balls and exerted their offensive dominance scoring four runs to push their lead to 5-0. Again in the fifth and then in the sixth, Wookies would continue to show off with their feet as they bunted and kicked their way to 4 more runs over those final two innings, blowing open the game and putting the thought of a comeback far from the minds of Throwback Thursdaze. Thursdaze gave it all they had but had a difficult time getting anything going against the excellent pitching and suffocating defense of the Wookies. Thursdaze had their chances to put runs on the board but each time saw them come up short ending their season with a 9-0 defeat at the hands of some drunk and hairy space creatures. With the victory, Wasted Wookies moves onto the Semifinals to face the winner between Krusty Krab Pizza and top seeded Ginger Balls, while Throwback Thursdaze completes their season at 5-4-1
#3 I’d Hit That blows early Lead, then Walk-Offs #6 Whistle Kicks, 9-8
The Quarterfinal matchup between #3 I’d Hit That and #6 Whistle Kicks was a back and forth affair with many twists and turns. Jitters by both teams led to some runs scoring early with I’d Hit That quickly jumping out to a 4-0 lead after one. In the top half of the second, Whistle Kicks had a runner on second and two outs, when the kicker then blasted a home run to left field to cut the lead to 4-2. I’d Hit That responded back with a run in the bottom half of the inning to extend their lead to 5-2. In the top half of the third, Whistle Kicks cut the deficit to one again with a screaming triple down the left field line. The score would have been tied if it wasn’t for a great play by I’d Hit That’s left fielder to peg the kicker with the ball trying to head home. I’d Hit That would then respond and extend their lead once again to 6-4 in the bottom half of the inning with small ball and a sacrifice fly. In the top of the fifth, Whistle Kicks got their offense going picking up four runs and taking an 8-6 lead. During this inning their whistling kicks were impeccable, finding holes left and right frustrating I’d Hit That’s defense. The Kicks then clamped down on their defense and held I’d Hit That to a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth, but the Kicks were unable to add on in the top of the sixth and this would prove costly. In the bottom of the sixth, I’d Hit That quickly loaded the bases with none out using their bunt skills. A pair of singles to the outfield tied the game and Whistle Kicks was forced to bring their defense in. The next kicker blasted a sacrifice fly to right field and I’d Hit That avoided the upset and won 9-8. I’d Hit That moves on to face #2 Green Grenades in the Semifinals, while Whistle Kicks finishes their season at 3-5-2.
Top Seeded Ginger Balls defeats Krusty Krab Pizza 17-2
Krusty Krab Pizza coming off their Play-In game win, looked to build off their momentum and try to beat the kickball powerhouse known as Ginger Balls. The Pizzas turned to their Hawaiian gods in the 1st inning getting their handsome 1st base runner to score from first due to some sloppy fielding. With a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Krabs looked to their defense to hold their lead, but unfortunately couldn’t get the final out with a runner scoring from a two-out hit. 1-1 in the end of the first. The Gingers defense came alive in the second, getting a three up three down inning from the Krab kickers. The Pizzas knew their defense had to be superb to pull off an upset. Unfortunately, the Hawaiian gods really don’t like pineapple and ham on their pizza. This game really got ugly fast with the Gingers flexing their kickball muscles. The Gingers went on a kicking clinic scoring 3 in the second, 5 in the third, and 4 in the fourth all while shutting out the Krabs at the plate. The Krabs got 1 back in the 5th with some great base running, but another 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th for the Gingers pretty much sealed the door for any possible comeback. Final score: Ginger Balls – 17, Krusty Krab Pizza – 2. Ginger Balls moves on to face #5 Wasted Wookies in the Semifinals, while Krusty Krab Pizza completes their season at 3-8.
#2 Green Grenades Advances to Finals with 6-2 win Over #3 I’d Hit That
In a rematch of the Spring Swenson Cup Finals, second seeded Green Grenades and third seeded I’d Hit That locked horns in this Semifinal matchup. I’d Hit That quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first using their bunting and speed around the bases. Green Grenades quickly responded with a run in their half of the first using small ball as well. Green Grenades defense would then clamp down on I’d Hit That, not allowing a run the rest of the way even though I’d Hit That threatened numerous times. In the bottom of the second, Green Grenades continued to use small ball to tie the game at 2. In the fourth inning, Grenades would score four runs to take a 6-2 lead. I’d Hit That had numerous opportunities, but would fail to score and get the clutch kick they needed to get back into the game. In the top of the sixth, Green Grenades closed out the game with a quick and defensive three up and three down inning and punched their ticket into the Finals. Green Grenades advances to the Swenson Cup Championship game to face either #5 Wasted Wookies or #1 Ginger Balls, while I’d Hit That completes their season at 7-4
#5 Wasted Wookies pulls the Upset, takes Down #1 Ginger Balls in 5-4 Thriller
In one of the better games of the 2015 Fall Tournament, Wasted Wookies snuck past the one loss Ginger Balls, completing their Cinderella run to the Swenson Cup Finals. The Wookies wasted no time getting their offense going in this one as they rallied with 2 outs in the first on a couple of nice kicks to take a 1-0 lead. Ginger Balls, one of the favorites in the tourney, answered right back and loaded the bases with no outs on three excellent bunts. The Wookies would bend, but not break as nasty pitching and solid defense only allowed one of the Ginger runners to cross home plate.
In the second, the Wookies, playing with only 10 players, would turn over their lineup and score another run aided by several miscues by the Ginger Balls defense taking a 2-1 lead after two innings. The teams traded a few half innings of scoreless ball until Ginger Balls finally fought their way back to take the lead in the bottom of the third. With two outs and a runner on second, the Wookies pitcher made his only big mistake of the contest allowing a triple that tied the game at 2-2. The Gingers would take the lead as the very next kicker lined a single up the middle scoring the runner on third.
In the fourth, the Gingers would pad their lead on a dropped ball in the outfield with two outs, to lead 4-2 after 4 innings. In the fifth, the Wookies, down but not out, came from behind to take the lead. With two outs the Gingers typically reliable pitcher issued a walk on five pitches that set the table for the eventual comeback by the Wookies. Following the walk, three consecutive singles saw the Balls’ lead disappear as three runs crossed the plate. Ginger Balls found themselves trailing 5-4 after 5 innings. The Balls wouldn’t quit however, and put some serious pressure on the Wookies in the bottom of the sixth putting runners on first and second with only 1 out. A favorable fair ball call for the Wookies on the next Ginger Ball gave them 2 outs but allowed the tying and winning run to move into scoring position. With 2 outs, the Wookies pitcher, gassed from a stellar, hard fought performance, dug deep to get the final out, propelling the underdogs into the final round of the tournament as they move onto the Swenson Cup Finals to face Green Grenades, while Ginger Balls completes their season at 9-2.
SWENSON CUP FINAL
Green Grenades claim Fall 2015 Swenson Cup Title with Walk-Off over Wasted Wookies
Wasted Wookies started the game with a lead off bunt down the third base line. The second kicker bunted down the line as well, but couldn’t beat out the throw to first. However, the lead runner was able to get to third base on the throw and threatened to score with only one out. After taking a few close pitches, a strong kick got the ball into right field. Though caught, the runner on third was able to tag up to open the scoring for the Wookies. The clean-up kicker was able to lay a nice bunt down to get on base, but a ground out to the pitcher ended the frame. Green Grenades looked to even the score but had some early trouble with the velocity of the pitches. Two ground outs to the pitcher and a pop-up to first base brought a quick end to the first inning.
In the top of the second, WW looked to extend their one run lead. However, the Green Grenades defense was determined to keep the game close with a three up, three down inning. In the bottom of the frame, GG seemed to be seeing the ball better. A strong kick to right field served as a wake-up call to the Wookie defense. the Wookies were up to the challenge and caught both deep balls. A pop-up to the pitcher ended the second inning with the Wookies still clinging to their 1-0 lead. Both pitchers were throwing heat and neither team could get the ball out of the infield in the third inning. A quick 1-2-3 for both sides brought the first half of the game to a close.
With the top of the order up a second time to start the fourth inning, the Wookies got a nice bunt down. That was followed by a fly ball to shallow left-center that found an opening in the Grenade’s defense. With runners on first and second, a ball was launched into right field. The fielder made a quick break to the ball, only to lose his footing and see the ball bounce past him. Both runners were able to score and the kicker hustled around the bases for a triple. With their lead extended to 3-1, another ball found grass in left field, scoring the runner from third. The Grenades pitcher was able to induce two pop-ups, but the Wookies blasted another ball into the outfield. The base runner made it home, but the kicker was thrown out trying to extend the kick into a triple. Grenades was out of the inning, but found themselves down 5-0. In the home half of the fourth, Green Grenades knew they needed to keep the game close. With added determination, they patiently waited for their pitches and found some real estate in the Wookies defense to load the bases. With runners in scoring position for the first time in the game, the Grenades popped up to the first baseman for the second out in the frame. However, the next pitch was launched into deep left-center. The Wookies got the ball in quickly, but the Grenades were speeding around the bases. With the runner barreling home, the throw came into the catcher. A head-first slide got to the plate just before the tag could be applied to cut the lead to 5-2. A ground ball ended the inning, but the momentum appeared to be shifting in the Green Grenades favor.
In the fifth inning, the Wookies needed insurance runs, but couldn’t get the ball out of the infield. Two ground ball outs and a pop-up to the pitcher brought the frame to a quick close. In the bottom of the fifth, the Wookies got two quick outs and seemed to be safely out of the inning. A single and a walk later, they found themselves with runners on first and second. The next kicker sent a ground ball to the second-baseman who threw to first-base for the third out of the inning. However, the throw was bobbled and the hustling kicker was called safe. Alertly, the two other runners continued around the bases and were able to score before the defense knew what happened. Suddenly the Wookies lead was cut to one run. A fly ball to right field ended the inning with Green Grenades trailing 5-4.
In the sixth and final inning, GG was able to quickly dispatch the Wookie kickers without allowing a baserunner. Down to their final three outs, the Grenades relied on small ball to get runners on first and second with only one out. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, but the kicker was able to avoid the tag to load the bases. With one out, a kick to the outfield would be enough to tie the game. The kicker took a few pitches before finding the one they wanted. The ball jumped just before getting to the plate and the kicker got under the ball. The high fly ball rose above the lights, but didn’t leave the infield. The Wookie pitcher was able to catch the ball for the second out. The runner on third broke for home. Seeing this, the pitch quickly threw the ball home to prevent the tying run from coming across the plate. Behind him, the runner on second sprinted back to the base as he found himself stranded between the bases on the catch. The Green Grenades could breath a sigh of relief, knowing they narrowly escaped a game-ending double play. Down to their final out with the bases loaded, the Green Grenades last hope took the first pitch for a called strike. The next two pitches broke away from the plate for a 2-1 count. The following pitch looked to be over the plate, and the Grenade’s kicker didn’t wait around. The ball was launched into left-center. As the fielder turned his shoulder to run back on the ball the GG sideline began to erupt. It fell just out of reach as the tying run crossed the plate. By the time the throw came in, the winning run crossed and the comeback was complete. After never holding the lead all game, the Green Grenades had won the Swenson Cup, 6-5; their second walk-off victory of the year. With a Spring and Fall Championship under their belts, the Green Grenades finish their season at 10-2, while Wasted Wookies complete their sophomore season at 7-5.
End of Season Party!
Even though the play on the field has ended for 2015, the party does not stop! Join us on Friday at Grand Oaks on Grand Avenue for the End of Season party! The theme for this evening is Disco Discount Halloween, so purchase a cheap Halloween costume and have some fun with karaoke, dancing and reminiscing about the Fall 2015 season!