Fish Sticks Survive Thirteen Epic Innings to Extend Series to Decisive Fifth Game

21 Jul

Joey rounds second base after his solo homer gave the Sticks a 3-2 lead in the top of the 13th inning

Two weeks after completing what is considered the greatest game in EWL history, the Fish Sticks and 4 out of 5 Dentists needed 13 innings to decide a winner in Game 4. The Sticks took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 13th inning and held on to win 3-2, tying the series at 2-2 and forcing a game 5.

With the Dentists’ ace Chris out with an injury, Ron started on the mound for the second consecutive game, aware that he could only pitch two innings before reaching his limit. He was effective in game 3, earning a complete game victory and holding the Sticks to three runs. He picked up where he left off to start game 4, fanning the league’s best hitter, Blose for the first out of the game. He then retired Dinger for the second out, and the game was scoreless after the top of the first.

Joey started on the mound for the Sticks. He was hit hard in game 2, as the Dentists started their improbable comeback in the game and series by hitting home runs off of him. He got off to a good start in game 4 though, as he retired Braydn and Marr in the bottom of the second.

Ron retired Joey and Vassallo in order, and he had reached his pitching limit. He pitched two perfect innings to get the Dentists off to a good start.

He helped his own cause in the bottom half of the second, as he led off the inning with a solo homer, his third of the week, which gave the Dentists the first score of the game, a 1-0 lead. Joey wasn’t rattled, though, as he retired Spads and Braydn in order to keep the deficit at one run.

With both of their regular pitchers unavailable, the Dentists would have to turn to a player who had never pitched before to close out the series and send them to the championship. They send Spads to the mound, a southpaw, and the Fish Sticks struggled to hit him. He retired Blose and Dinger in the top of the third, and the Dentists held their 1-0 lead.

Spads made his first pitching appearance of his career in Game 4

After giving up a homer in the bottom of the second, Joey got into gear in the bottom of the third and the Dentists were unable to shake him until he reached his inning limit in the eight inning. He retired Marr and Ron in order for a perfect third inning.

Spads retired Joey for the first out of the top of the fourth, and after going three and a half innings perfect, the Dentists gave up their first hit of the game when Vassallo singled with one out. But Spads stranded him at first, retiring Blose for the second out of the inning.

Joey send Spads and Braydn down in the bottom of the fourth, keeping the score at 1-0.

Joey and Marr collide on the first base line as Joey approached a fly ball in foul territory

Spads brought the Dentists one inning closer to ending the series in the top of the fifth, when he retired Dinger and Joey consecutively.

The Dentists couldn’t add insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Joey retired Marr and Ron in order.

One inning away from advancing to the championship game, Spads needed two outs to end the game. But Vassallo had other plans. The Fish Sticks had their backs against the wall, and with their season on the line, Vassallo led off the top of the sixth with a solo homer, tying the game at 1-1. The Sticks couldn’t take a lead though, as Spads retired Blose and Dinger, maintaining the 1-1 tie.

Vassallo saved the Fish Sticks season, leading off the top of the sixth inning with a game-tying home run

The Dentists came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth needing a run to end the game and the series. This would be the first of eight straight innings where they had a chance to win the game with a run. Joey got both batters, Spads and Braydn, to fly out to the pitchers mound, sending the game to extra innings.

Spads remaining on the mound in the top of the seventh. He retired Joey for the first out of the inning, and Vassallo followed with a single, his third hit of the game, as he had all three of the Sticks hits. But Spads stranded him at first, getting Blose to fly out to center for the second out of the inning.

Joey continued to shut down the Dentists in the bottom of the seventh, retiring Marr and Ron in order.

The Sticks couldn’t score in the top of the eight, as Spads retired Dinger and Joey consecutively.

Spads and the Dentists defense held the Sticks to 2 runs in 8 innings pitched

In his final inning of availability, Joey sent down Spads and Braydn for a scoreless eight, extending the game another inning.

Joey gave up 1 earned run on 1 hit in 8 innings, a blast from Ron in the second inning

Vassallo was retired for the first out of the bottom of the ninth, but the Sticks finally broke the tie with one out. Blose came to the plate and hit a solo homer, his first hit of the game, to put the Fish Sticks up 2-1. Spads retired Dinger for the second out of the inning, and the Sticks were now two outs away from winning Game 4.

With Joey’s innings exhausted, the Sticks opted to save Dinger, who had two innings of availability left, and call Blose from the bullpen for the save opportunity. The decision didn’t work out as planned though, as the first batter of the inning, Marr, crushed a solo homer to left-center field, tying the game at 2-2, saving the Dentists. The back and forth game would continue. Blose avoided the blown save and the loss, however, as he settled down, retiring Ron and Spads, sending the game to the tenth inning.

The tenth inning would be Spads final inning of eligibility. He retired Joey for the first out of the tenth, but Vassallo followed with a single, his fourth hit of the game. But the Sticks couldn’t take another lead, as Spads retired Blose for the second out of the inning.

Blose remained on the mound in the bottom of the tenth. Braydn grounded out to center for the first out of the inning, and the next batter, Marr, crushed a ball into the tree in left. The tree kept the ball in the park, but the Sticks were unable to field it, and Marr had his second consecutive hit off Blose. Ron couldn’t make the Sticks pay though, as he was retired for the second out of the inning, stranding Marr at first.

With Ron and Spads unable to pitch, the Dentists had to utilize their third pitcher of the game. They called Marr from the bullpen to make his first appearance of the season on the mound. He pitched well immediately, retiring Dinger and Joey in order for a scoreless eleventh.

Blose found his groove in the bottom of the eleventh, pitching his first perfect inning by retiring Spads and Braydn in order.

After a shaky start, Blose took control on the mound

Vassallo led off the top of the twelfth inning with a single, his fifth hit of the game. But yet again the Sticks were unable to make the Dentists pay, as Marr retired Blose and Dinger to strand Vassallo at first.

Blose continued to send the Dentists down in the bottom of the twelfth. He retired Marr and Ron in order, and the marathon game would continue into the thirteen inning, making it the longest game in EWL history.

With the score tied at 2-2, and with no runs having been scored for four innings, the Sticks finally put a dent in the Dentists armor. Joey came into this at-bat hitless in his previous 11 at-bats on the day. He finally connected, hitting a solo homer off the top rail of the fence, putting the Fish Sticks up 3-2. Marr held the deficit at one run, retiring Vassallo and Blose.

The Dentists had their backs against the wall for a second time, down 3-2 and needing a run to force a fourteenth inning or two runs to win the game. But Blose clamped down, pitching his third consecutive perfect inning, retiring Spads and Braydn by groundouts, ending the longest game in league history.

The Fish Sticks tied the game in the top of the sixth, went ahead in the top of the ninth only to allow the Dentists to tie the game again, only to take the lead again in the thirteenth inning and hang on to win. The 3-2 victory forced a pivotal game 5 to be played to decide which of the two teams would advance to face the Caucasians in the championship Wiffle Series.

The two teams shake hands before facing off in Game 5

Game Notes:
– Vassallo led the Fish Sticks in victory, going 5 for 8, running out 4 singles and hitting the game-tying home run in the top of the sixth. He also made countless crucial plays in the field.
– Joey set a playoff record with 10 put-outs in the game. He also pitched 8 innings, giving up 1 ER on 1 hit, a solo homer to Ron
– Spads also pitched 8 innings, giving up 2 ER on 5 hits
– Marr took the loss for the Dentists, pitching 3 innings, giving up 1 ER on 2 hits
– Blose claimed the win for the Fish Sticks, giving up 1 ER on 2 hits in 5 innings pitched
– The pitching and defense was spectacular in this game, holding both offenses in check throughout 13 grueling innings

Box Score

4 Responses to “Fish Sticks Survive Thirteen Epic Innings to Extend Series to Decisive Fifth Game”

  1. Anonymous July 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    I did some research and I wanted to let you guys know that we made 1 and possibly 2 mistakes calling that game.

    Rule 7:08 Any runner is out when –

    (b) He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to
    make a play on a batted ball;

    Sorry Troupe, we should have called Mike out on that play.

    Like

  2. Anonymous July 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    But also the same rule applies to batters in the box getting in the way of a foul ball. There is no specific rule I can find but after reading the majority of the batter rules, it leads me to believe that it’s an umpires judgement call as to whether or not the batter interfered with a foul ball. The batter’s box doesn’t necessarily give you a safe-haven. In the particular play I am referring to, where Troupe fouled a ball straight up over his head, I don’t believe Joey knew where the ball was and therefore did not, in my judgement, *knowingly* interfere with the play.

    If Mike would have stopped short to let you field that fly ball referred to in the first post and you dropped it and still got him out then I think it’s the umpire’s judgement call to call “obstruction” and award the base to the runner.

    Like

  3. youknoww July 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Well put sir. Very nice research work.

    Like

  4. ewlcommish July 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Great research.

    Like

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