Three weeks ago, Week 7 was postponed due to darkness and Oakland Park and Rec forgetting about Golden State Kickball. However, maybe this Halloween week themed week was a blessing in disguise. With the seedings muddled after the top spot, how would the final games turn out? Also, would Ginger Balls be able to run the table with an undefeated regular season record or would they rest their players for the tournament? The ball was definitely flying on a chilly, but calm night at Mosswood Park in Oakland.
Throwback Thursdaze Devour Krusty Krab Pizza, 10-2
The early game at the partially lit Field 1 featured two teams trying to overturn their prior week’s loss. Throwback Thursdaze threatened early, getting runners into scoring position in the top of the first. Krusty Krab Pizza appeared to get out of the jam, only to give a two-out kick to right-center gap, scoring two. In the bottom of the frame, the Pizzas were able to get their lead-off kicker on base, but were unable to advance the runner. Thursdaze extended their lead to 4-0 with a string of singles in the second, and added a fifth run in the top of the fourth. KKP were able to get runners into scoring position in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs, the ball was kicked into shallow left field to score two runs and finally get KKP on the board. In what would be the final inning, Throwback Thursdaze came back with avengence, and singled the Krusty Krabs to death, triggering a mercy rule and doubling their lead to 10-2. Down to their last chance, Krusty Krab were able to load the bases with none out. The comeback stalled, however, with a force out at home and an infield pop-up. Down to their final out, KKP couldn’t get the ball out of the infield. A force out at third base ended the game anti-climatically. With the win, Throwback Thursdaze jump to fourth place in the standings and will host fifth seeded Wasted Wookies in the first round of the tournament. With the two teams below them either tying or losing, Krusty Krab Pizza hold steady in the #8 spot and will host #9 Almost Classy in a Play-In game.
Wasted Wookies Hurl all over themselves, Lose 6-0 to I’d Hit That.
With Zombie Captain America on the hill, Wasted Wookies had the idea to channel the power of the undead to propel them to victory. On this night, however, facing an equally costumed I’d Hit That, that idea faded quickly and quietly. I’d Hit That, proving their indifference to the power of undead, bunted their first three kickers safely on base to load the bases with nobody out. A sharp single to the outfield scored the first run of the game, and after just four kickers, I’d Hit That lead 1-0. The inning would get much worse for Zombie Captain America and his band of costumed wookies as the very next kicker blasted a ball to deep left center for a grand slam to cap off the five run mercy rule inning. Continuing their offensive dominance, I’d Hit That kicked two sharp singles to open up the second prompting Zombie Captain America to shed his muscles and transform into just a plain zombie. The costume change failed to produce any outs, however, as I’d Hit that continued to put runners on base, eventually plating an additional run to take a 6-0 lead after just two innings. The lone highlight for the Wasted Wookies was an awesome triple play that they completed in the fourth inning. The play was aided by atrocious baserunning by I’d Hit That and excellent backup defense by the Wookies. With runners on first and second, a fly ball to the outfield moved the runner to third base, but the runner overran third and was hit by ball for the second out. Then the runner at first tried to use the ricochet and run all the way home. The gamble did not pay off for I’d Hit That and the triple play was completed. The remainder of the game was uneventful and unexciting with both defenses recording three up, three down innings. The 6-0 victory for I’d Hit That propelled them into the third seed of the tournament while the loss dropped Wasted Wookies all the way down to fifth. I’d Hit That will face #6 Whistle Kicks in the Quarterfinals while the Wookies take on fourth seeded Throwback Thursdaze.
Welcome to Death Row and Whistle Kicks Play to 4-4 tie
Welcome Death Row and Whistle Kicks clashed in a close, entertaining game with great pitching and defense on both sides. The defenses were counterbalanced by some clutch kicking when it mattered, with every run in the game scoring with two outs. Death Row had more opportunities throughout the game, with multiple runners on in almost every inning, but Whistle Kicks kept turning them away with key defensive stops. The Whistlers opened the scoring in the bottom of the third, plating three runs with three straight 2-out base hits. The West Coasters finally got the big kick they needed in the top of the 4th with a 3-run HR to tie the game. Death Row then took a 4-3 lead with a clutch 2-out kick in the 5th, only to see WK use aggressive baserunning and an overthrow to tie things back up in the bottom of the inning. Both defenses held strong in the 6th to preserve a 4-4 tie. Whistle Kicks will be seeded sixth for the tournament and will take on third seeded, I’d Hit That, while #10 Welcome to Death Row will be in a Play-In Game against #7 Baby Bouncies.
Green Grenades Hand Ginger Balls First Loss of season, win 1-0
Under the lights on a chilly evening at Mosswood Park, two heavyweights locked horns in what was clearly the game of the Fall 2015 season. Ginger Balls, having already locked up the number one seed in the upcoming GSK tournament, entered the game undefeated, looking to finish off a perfect season. In the opposing dugout, Green Grenades, needing a win to lock up the second seed, looked to play spoiler and become the only team to defeat the Gingers this season. The early innings of this one were dominated by excellent pitching and stellar defense, with each team getting runners on base but failing to get the clutch kick to cash in the runs. Green Grenades had the best opportunity to open the scoring early getting their leadoff kicker to first on an excellent bunt. The Gingers promptly squashed the threat getting the next three outs, stranding the Grenades runner on third base. Ginger Balls mounted a rally of their own in the fourth, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but once again failed to find any open space in the field to score their baserunners. In the fifth after multiple chances failed them, Green Grenades finally broke through with the first, and only run of the game. With two outs and runners on first and second, the Grenades kicker sent a towering fly ball to right field that landed just out of reach of the Gingers right fielder, allowing the runner on second to score without a play. Green Grenades shut the door in the sixth not allowing a single baserunner as Ginger Balls fell quietly, losing for the first time in the Fall season. In the upcoming GSK Fall Tournament Ginger Balls takes the #1 seed and will play the winner of #9 Almost Classy and #8 Krusty Krab Pizza. Green Grenades takes the #2 seed and will meet the winner of Baby Bouncies and Welcome to Death Row.
Baby Bouncies Crush Almost Classy 10-0
The final game of the evening on Field 2 pitted teams, who were jockeying for position at the bottom of the standings, trying to climb out of the cellar and avoid the dreaded play-in game. In the bottom of the first, Baby Bouncies came out with their legs on fire and opened the scoring right away with a deep two run homer that sparked a five run mercy rule rally. This put Classy in a deep hole that they were never able to climb out of. Bouncies continued to pile it on in the second scoring two more runs on nice kicks to the outfield to push their lead to 7-0 after just two innings. It was more of the same in the third as Bouncies finally had the offensive flow they had been looking for most of the season. With runners in scoring position, two more nice kicks plated three additional runs and after just three innings Baby Bouncies found themselves finally on the winning side of a blowout, leading 10-0. The offensive show would quiet after that with Classy finally bringing some defense to the field as they shut Baby Bouncies out the rest of the way. On the offensive side, Classy had trouble getting anything going and could not score any runs off of a tight and well played Bouncies defense. With the win, Baby Bouncies remains the seventh seed in the tournament and will play #10 Welcome to Death Row for the right to advance into the Quarterfinals for a matchup with #2 Green Grenades. Almost Classy, with the loss, remains the ninth seed and will open play in the tournament against eighth seeded Krusty Krab Pizza. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals to play top seeded Ginger Balls.
Another Thursday, another night at McNally’s following kickball. Teams showed up in their costumes at McNally’s after the games. In the back room, players from Almost Classy, Green Grenades, Baby Bouncies, and a smattering of other teams interspersed for some friendly games of flip cup. In the front room, music was blasting, people were comparing costumes, and the alcohol was flowing. No individual was reigned King of the Hill champion. Perhaps next week with the fun games, the competition will stiffen at McNally’s and a flip cup champion will be crowned!