Fish Sticks Defeat Dentists in Legendary Game, Clinching #2 Seed in Bottom of Ninth Inning

7 Jul

Blose hit 4 HR against the Dentists, including the game-winning walk-off homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth

The Fish Sticks topped the Dentists 6-5 in the last game of the regular season when Blose hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in what will go down as the greatest EWL game ever played.

The #2 seed and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs was on the line as the Dentists came into their 20th game 0.5 games back of the Fish Sticks. With a win, the Dentists would finish with an identical 11-9 record as the Sticks, but have a 4-3 head-to-head record against them, securing them the #2 seed. With a loss, the Fish Sticks would finish 12-8, giving them a better record outright and the #2 seed.

Dinger started on the mound for the Sticks, and pitched a quick top of the first inning, retiring Ron and Chris in order.

Chris started for the Dentists and had an equally effective bottom of the first, striking out Blose, the leadoff batter, then getting Dinger to ground out to left field for the second out of the inning.

With the game tied at zero, the Dentists opened up a lead in the top of the second inning. Mike led off the inning with a solo homer to centerfield to put the Dentists up 1-0. The next batter, Kyle, hit a solo home run to the nearly identical spot, making back-to-back homers for a 2-0 lead. The following batter, Ron, crushed a home run to left field, making back-to-back-to-back homers, and giving the Dentists a commanding 3-0 lead. Chris came to the plate with no outs and a chance to set the league record for consecutive home runs by a team at 4, but the Dentists would have to settle for a tie of the record, as Dinger got him to ground out to center field. Dinger also retired the next batter, Mike, allowing three runs in the inning.

Chris continued to roll in the bottom of the second, retiring Joey and Vassallo in order.

After giving up three in the top of the second, Dinger got back into a groove in the top of the third, retiring Kyle and Ron in order to keep the score at 3-0.

The Fish Sticks showed their first signs of life in the bottom of the third. Blose led off the inning with a solo homer, cutting the score to 3-1. Dinger followed by grounding out for the first out of the inning. The next batter, Joey, doubled, and scored from second when Vassallo doubled, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Chris was able to retire the next batter, Blose, for the second out of the inning, stranding Vassallo on second base.

Going into the top of the fourth, the score was 3-2 Dentists. After Chris flew out for the first out of the inning, Dinger gave up a triple to Marr. But the Dentists couldn’t plate an insurance run, as Dinger held the runner at third by getting Kyle to fly out to left field for the second out of the inning.

Dinger singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth, but the Fist Sticks couldn’t tie the game, as Chris stranded Dinger on base by retiring Joey and Vassallo to end the fourth.

The Dentists were retired in order in the top of the fifth, as Dinger got both Ron and Chris to groundout to centerfield.

After recording both put-outs in the top half of the inning, Blose led off the bottom of the fifth by crushing a solo home run to right center field, tying the game at 3-3. Chris didn’t dig himself into a hole, however, as he retired Dinger and Joey to keep the game tied through five innings.

Dinger shut down the Dentists in the top of the sixth, retiring Marr and Kyle in order, giving the Sticks a chance to win the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Chris got Vassallo to fly out for the first out of the inning, but Blose doubled with one out, putting the winning run in scoring position. But Dinger couldn’t plate the run, as he flew out to right field to send the game to extra innings.

Dinger maintained his momentum on the mound in the seventh, retiring Ron and Chris in order, the sixth and seventh consecutive batters he had retired at that point.

The Sticks could have walked off with a win in the bottom of the seventh, but Joey and Vassallo were sent down in order by Chris, pushing the game to the eighth inning.

Dinger retired Marr to lead off the top of the eighth, but gave up a one-out single to Kyle. The next batter, Ron, hit a towering bomb to deep left-center field, giving the Dentists the lead with the score 5-3. Chris was retired for the second out of the inning, and the Dentists were two outs away from securing the #2 seed.

Blose led off the bottom of the eighth, and immediately blasted his third homer of the game, pulling the Fish Sticks within a run at 5-4 with no outs. The next batter, Dinger, grounded out to left, and the Sticks were down to their final out. Joey came to the plate having only one hit in his previous five at-bats, but hit a solo home to deep left field, tying the game at 5-5. Vassallo stepped to the plate with a chance to win the game, and hit a high flyball deep against the fence, but it fell just short as the Dentists escaped the inning. The game would go into the ninth inning tied at 5-5.

Both starting pitchers had reached their 8 inning limit in this game, so both teams had to make a call to the bullpen to finish the game. Each team called the starter from the previous game, both of which pitched a complete game and had only 2 innings of eligibility left.

Joey came to the mound for the Fish Sticks, and retired Marr and Kyle in order.

The Dentists sent Ron to the mound, and with the score 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, he faced Blose to lead off the inning. Blose led off with a walk-off solo home run, his fourth home run of the game, giving the Fish Sticks a 6-5 win and the #2 seed in the EWL playoffs. The sun had nearly set completely as both teams exited the field, both having left it all on the field, in one of the greatest wiffleball games ever played.

Game Notes:
– Blose had the second best game of his career, tying some of his own personal single-game records. He went 5 for 7 with 4 HR, a double, and 4 RBI. He also recorded 9 put-outs, including the first five of the game.
– Blose and Joey each hit solo home runs in the bottom of the eighth, extending the game to the ninth inning.
– Dinger got the no-decision for the Sticks, giving up 5 ER on 6 hits in 8 IP.
– Chris got the no-decision for the Dentists, giving up 5 ER on 8 hits in 8 IP.

Box Score

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