Ten weeks ago, eight teams were on the quest for the 2016 Summer Swenson Cup title and it all came down to a Saturday on a beautiful sunny day at Mosswood Park in Oakland, California. In past tournaments, there have been upsets, but how would the teams fare on this day?
Fall Season Starts September 8th
Don’t look now, but the last league for 2016 begins in about a week on September 8th. Who will take the Fall 2016 Swenson Cup? Registration is still open on our website at GSKBall.com
#3 2 Legit 2 Kick Escapes #6 Almo$t Cla$$y 3-2 in 8 innings
Sixth seeded Almo$t Cla$$y and third seeded 2 Legit 2 Kick led off the tournament with an all-time classic, featuring great defense and two teams that really didn’t want their season to end. The first half of the game was scoreless, with both teams trading double plays and 3 up/3 down innings, with no runners even reaching third base. Cla$$y broke through in the top of the fourth, with some veteran, aggressive baserunning that led to 2 runs. 2 Legit responded in the bottom of the inning, getting a clutch 2-out base hit to cut the Cla$$y lead in half, 2-1. The score stayed that way to the bottom of the sixth. Faced with a do-or-die situation, Legit was indeed legit, starting off the inning with a double and a triple to tie the game and putting the potential winning run on 3rd with no outs. However, Classy came up with a season-saving defensive play, throwing out the runner at home when he tried to score on a shallow fly ball. Ties in a tournament mean one thing of course – bonus kickball!! The score remained knotted until the bottom of the eight inning, when 2 Legit was able to get 2 runners on early in the inning. This time the clutch kick was there, a clean single to left plating the final run and giving 2 Legit a walk-off 3-2 win. 2 Legit 2 Kick moves onto the Semifinals while Almo$t Cla$$y completes their season at 4-6.
#5 Hey Girl, Let’s Kick It takes down #4 Juan and the Cochinos, 3-2
The matchup between Juan and the Cochinos was a well played and tight knit affair that came down to one inning and a couple of plays. This game was as advertised as both of these teams were in the middle of the pack the entire season with the season series tied at one. In the top of the first 2 Legit had their kicking shoes on plating three runs with two outs. The Cochinos had trouble getting their offense, going and finally broke through in the fourth inning on a pair of place kicks to right field. On the flip side, 2 Legit had trouble scoring the rest of the game. While they had chances, they could not add on to their lead. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cochinos put runners on second and third with 2 out and had the chance to take the lead, but a ground out to first squashed that threat. With Juan and the Cochinos down to their last chance in the sixth, they loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single with one out. A sacrifice fly to left cut the 2 Legit lead to 3-2, but then another flyout to left secured the win for Hey Girl. Hey Girl, Let’s Kick It moves onto the Semifinals, while Juan and the Cochinos completes their season at 4-5-1
#1 Saved by the Ball walks over #8 Pitch Slap
Unfortunately Pitch Slap was unable to field enough players for the tournament and Saved by the Ball received a walk over to the Semifinals. Pitch Slap completes their season at 0-9-1.
#2 Schoolyard Bullies defeats #7 Welcome to Death Row, 3-1
The battle between Schoolyard Bullies and Welcome to Death Row was a low scoring battle with the sun finally starting to come out. Death Rows speedy leadoff runner was able to score a single run in the first off a solid laser single over shortstop. Schoolyard Bullies would strike back to score one run in the first off a single, and another run off fielder’s choice. The defense showed up in the 2nd thru 4th innings, although both teams threatened to score multiple times, they were held to goose eggs. Schoolyard Bullies truck again in the fifth scoring 2 runs off multiple singles and quick base running. The inmates down to their last breath had a chance to tie the game in the sixth with a pair of runners on, but a force out at third based sealed their fate and closed out Death Row’s season. Schoolyard Bullies advances to the Semifinals, while Welcome to Death Row finishes their season at 2-6-2.
#1 Saved by the Ball routs #5 Hey Girl, Let’s Kick It 10-1 moves to Finals
Even after the walkover to the Semifinals, Saved by the Ball was still favored to defeat Hey Girl, Let’s Kick It, who were coming off an emotional Quarterfinal win. Saved by the Ball got a double plate in the top of the first to squash an early Hey Girl threat and parlayed the defensive momentum into three runs in the bottom of the first highlighted by ball that found outfield grass and plated two runs. In the third, Saved by the Ball extended their lead to 6-0 highlighted by a defensive miscue that plated two runs. Unlike the first game, Hey Girl had trouble scoring early and often going quickly in most of their innings. In the fourth, Saved by the Ball put the game away for good plating 4 more runs to take a 10-0 lead using their outstanding place kicking that helped them out throughout the regular season. In the sixth, Hey Girl picked up on a run on some very aggressive base running, but the deficit was too large to overcome as Saved by the Ball won 10-1. Saved by the Ball advances to compete for the 2016 Summer Swenson Cup, while Hey Girl, Let’s Kick it completes their season at 5-5-1.
#2 Schoolyard Bullies pulls away from #3 Legit 2 Kick, advances to Championship
One of the semifinals pitted second seed Schoolyard Bullies against third seed 2 Legit 2 Kick. All of the offensive action in this game came early as the offenses were constantly applying pressure. The Bullies opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, rebounding from a great 2 Legit double play to take a 1-0 lead. 2 Legit responded immediately, tying the score in the top of the second on an aggressive tag up on an infield pop out. The Bullies retook the lead in the bottom of the inning 2-1, but a good relay to the plate cut off any additional scoring to keep the game close. 2 Legit threatened again, loading the bases in the top of the third, but this time the Bullies defense was up to the task and no damage was done. That wasn’t the story in the bottom of the inning, as the Bullies offense erupted for four runs with great kicking and smart aggressive baserunning. 2 Legit was able to scratch back one run in the top of the fourth to make the score 6-2, but both defenses locked it down from there on out, highlighted by 2 Legit turning the rare triple play in the bottom of the fifth to squash a Bullies rally. With the 6-2 win, Schoolyard Bullies advances to the Championship game, while 2 Legit 2 Kick completes their season at 6-4-1.
2016 Summer Swenson Cup Finals
Schoolyard Bullies claim 2016 Summer Swenson Cup over Saved by the Ball 6-2
In the end, the battle of the Swenson Cup was between the two best teams all season long with second seeded Schoolyard Bullies and top seeded Saved by the Ball. The Bullies started off fast, loading the bases in the top of the first and taking a quick 1-0 lead. However, a second run was thrown out at the plate, and Saved by the Ball turned that into offensive momentum in the bottom of the inning, cashing in their own bases loaded opportunity and knotting the score at 1 a piece. The defenses settled in at that point, with empty base paths and great plays being the norm until the fourth inning. The Bullies found their offense rhythm and some gaps in the Balls defense, using small ball and smart base running to plate 3 runs and take a 4-1 lead. Saved by the Ball wasn’t done, responding with a run in their half of the fourth to cut the lead to 2. The Bullies had their offense locked in though, keeping the pressure on the Balls defense, scoring a run in the fifth and tacking on two more in the sixth. The Balls offense tried to respond, but the Bullies defense and pitching was just too strong, shutting Saved by the Ball out for the rest of the game and clinching the 7-2 win and the 2016 Summer League Swenson Cup Title. Schoolyard Bullies completes their Championship season with a 9-2-1 record, while Saved by the Ball is the runners up finishing their season at 8-3-1.