2012 EWL Wiffle Series: The Rematch a Year in the Making

7 Aug

One year after meeting in the 2011 EWL Wiffle Series, the Caucasians and the Fish Sticks have made their way back to the Late-Summer Classic to battle for rights to the Wiffle Throne in 2012. The two teams were #1 and #2 in the standings the entire season, and it seemed destined that the two would meet again to conclude the playoffs.

The Caucasians find themselves in a similar position to 2011, but have arrived here via a different route. After dominating the 2011 regular season and cruising to the pennant, they struggled early in 2012. The midway point in the season changed everything, however, as the Caucasians lifted off, winning their final 7 games. They caught and passed the Fish Sticks in the standings, claiming the #1 seed in the playoffs for the second straight year. In the playoffs they met #4 seed Downtown Bobby Brown, formerly Pumice on Slow!, the same squad they faced in the first round of the 2011 playoffs. It took them one more game to dispose of Bobby Brown in 2012, winning the best-of-five series 3-1 after sweeping in 2011. The Caucasians are a decorated lineup, as team captain Guthrie won both Manager of the Year and repeated as Pitch King. After the greatest single-season performance in league history, Morrison earned Field Master, All-EWL Team, and Wiffler of the Year honors. Les established himself as one of the best pitchers in the league and was the MVP of their first round series with Bobby Brown. Ron, the Caucasians newest member, had a career year in 2012 and may be the most underrated hitter in the league. To top it off, the Caucasians have Frosty as their secret weapon. In limited action, Frosty hit over .700 in 2012 and was dominant in his brief stint in the first round. The Caucasians come into the Wiffle Series as the favorites for the second consecutive year, and hope to avoid the disappointment they faced in 2011.

The defending champion Fish Sticks also find themselves in a familiar position, and their route was fairly similar to their 2011 campaign. The Sticks started the 2011 season 7-3 and held a comfortable lead in the standings at the halfway mark. They started the second half 2-1 and were sitting at 9-3, having scored 28 runs in a single game, when the wheels fell off. The Fish Sticks crumbled down the stretch, 5 of their last 7 games including the last 4 of the regular season. They lost their hold on the #1 seed and fell within a game of .500. After starting so well, they finished at 11-9, one game worse than their 2011 mark of 12-8. They entered the playoffs as the #2 seed for the second consecutive year and faced the #3 seed Ham Slams. The Slams, despite having a patchwork roster, pushed the Sticks to the brink. For the second straight year it took the Sticks 5 games to advance beyond the first round, as they escaped the best-of-five series 3-2 with a game 5 win. Despite their struggles, the Sticks had productive seasons offensively. Blose, Joey, and Vassallo were each named to the All-EWL Team and Blose and Vassallo were recognized as Field Masters for the second year in a row. Ivan, the Sticks’ newest addition, was named EWL Rookie of the Year after winning the batting title in 2012. After a strong 2011 season, Dinger missed a lot of action in 2012, but rebounded down the stretch, turning in his best pitching performances of the season and clutch hitting in the playoffs. The Sticks are the underdog in the Wiffle Series again in 2012, but hope to make a surprise run
at back-to-back Wiffle Series titles.

The Caucasians won the regular season series with the Fish Sticks 4-3. The series was tied heading into the final game of the regular season, when the Caucasians destroyed the Sticks 13-1 in their most recent meeting. The Caucasians beat the Fish Sticks in the first game of the EWL season before dropping three straight meetings. The Caucasians won the final three matchups between the teams. The run differential in the 7 games was 56-48 Caucasians. Two of the games were decided by a single run, but the other 5 were decided by 4 runs or more.

The Fish Sticks won the 2011 best-of-seven Wiffle Series 4-2. After jumping out to a 2-0 series lead, the Fish Sticks were defeated soundly in game 3. They then won game 4, before dropping game 5. The Caucasians couldn’t extend the series to 7 games, however, as the Fish Sticks prevailed in the 6th game. Blose won MVP honors after winning Wiffler of the Year in 2011.

The 2012 Wiffle Series should be a great exhibition of wiffle skill, as every living member of a previous All-EWL Team will be playing, both previous Managers of the Year will be suited up, the only winner of Pitch King Award will start game 1 for the Caucasains, 3 of the 5 Field Masters will play, and the only two Wiffler’s of the Year will be playing as well. The Wiffle Series starts Tuesday, August 7th at 6:30 at the Wiffle Diamond on Ellsworth. Games 1-4 will be completed. Barring a sweep by either team, the series will be completed on another date.

Wiffle on.

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