Morrison Delivers Legendary Performance, Dinger’s Walk-Off in 8th Caps Dramatic Cookies & Cream Win

6 Aug
Dinger's walk-off homer in the bottom of the eighth capped one of the best playoff games in EWL history

Dinger’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the eighth capped one of the best playoff games in EWL history

In one of the most exciting games in the history of the EWL playoffs, Dinger’s walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 8th gave Cookies & Cream a 10-9 victory and two-game lead in their best-of-five series with Eastbound & Dahn.

Dinger started on the mound for Cookies & Cream, and he got off to a good start in the top of the first, retiring Eastbound & Dahn in order. Mark would start the game for Eastbound, and he matched Dinger in the bottom of the second, retiring Guthrie and Morrison consecutively.

Dinger continued to pitch well in the top of the second. He retired Ivan for the first out, and after Mark singled, retired Helal to end the inning, stranding the runner. Mark matched Dinger again, pitching a scoreless bottom half of the inning.

Eastbound would break the scoreless tie in the top of the third. After Ivan grounded out for the first out of the inning, Mark hit a solo bomb to right, putting Eastbound & Dahn ahead 1-0. Dinger retired the next batter, Helal, to end the inning.

Mark hit the first of his three home runs in the top of the third, putting Eastbound & Dahn on the board

Mark hit the first of his three home runs in the top of the third, putting Eastbound & Dahn on the board

Cookies & Cream would return the favor in the bottom of the third. After retiring Guthrie for the first out, Mark gave up a solo shot to Morrison, tying the game at 1-1. He then retired Joey to end the inning.

With the game tied at 1-1, Ivan led off the top of the fourth with a solo homer to deep right field, and Eastbound had regained the lead at 2-1. Mark followed with a double, and it looked as if Eastbound would rally. The next batter, Helal, ripped a line drive to left-center, but the ball hit Mark in the air as he was advancing from second to third, making him out in between bases. Helal was safe at first, but Eastbound couldn’t capitalize, as Dinger retired Ivan for the second out of the inning.

Ivan homered in the top of the fourth to put Eastbound ahead 2-1

Ivan homered in the top of the fourth to put Eastbound ahead 2-1

Dinger led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, and he moved to second when Guthrie followed with a single. The next batter, Morrison, hit another single, but on the play Dinger overran third base and was tagged out for the first out of the inning. With one out and two runners on, Mark retired Joey, stranding both runners and maintaining the 2-1 lead.

Eastbound got out their bats and opened up a big lead in the top of the fifth. Mark led off the inning with a solo shot, his second of the game, making the score 3-1. Helal followed with a single, and he moved to second when Ivan singled. Mark would hit another single, and Eastbound had loaded the bases with no outs. The next batter, Helal, stepped to the plate and crushed a deep fly to right-center. The ball cleared the fence, and Helal had hit only the second grand slam in the history of the EWL playoffs. The blast put Eastbound ahead 7-1 and they appeared to be in cruise control. Dinger retired the next batter, Ivan, and after Mark hit a one-out single, his third hit of the inning, Helal flew out to the mound to end the inning.

With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Helal hit the second grand slam in EWL postseason history, emptying the bases and putting Eastbound ahead 7-1

With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Helal hit the second grand slam in EWL postseason history, emptying the bases and putting Eastbound ahead 7-1

Down six runs, Cookies & Cream bounced back in the bottom of the fifth. Dinger led off the inning with a single, and moved from first to third when Guthrie followed with a double. With no outs and two runners in scoring position, Morrison hit a three-run bomb to left, his second homer of the game, cutting the Cookies & Cream deficit to 7-4. Mark retired Joey for the first out of the inning, but the next batter, Dinger, hit a solo shot, cutting the score to 7-5. Guthrie then grounded out for the second out of the inning, but Cookies & Cream had put a dent in the deficit.

With the score 7-5, Ivan led off the top of the sixth with a solo home run, and Eastbound & Dahn had taken an 8-5 lead. The next batter, Mark, hit another solo bomb, his third of the game, and the back-to-back jacks made the score 9-5. Dinger retired the next two batters, but Cookies & Cream, after rallying back within two runs, would head into their final at-bat down four.

Down 9-5, Morrison, who had been red hot all day, led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot, his third home run of the game. The blast cut the score to 9-6. Mark retired the next batter, Joey, and Cookies & Cream trailed by three runs and were down to their final out. Dinger, who had reached base safely in his previous three at-bats, hit a low-flying solo home run over the left field fence, making the score 9-7. The next batter, Guthrie, singled, and the tying run, Morrison, was at the plate. He hit a laser to left-center, and Guthrie raced around to score on the play. As Morrison attempted to extend a double into a triple, Eastbound & Dahn tried to peg him with the ball. The ball missed and went flying, and Morrison frantically scrambled around the bases. He crossed home plate, and his two-run inside-the-park home run had miraculously tied the game at 9-9. Joey followed with a one-out double, and Cookies & Cream had the winning run in scoring position. Dinger came to the plate scorching, but Mark buckled down, getting him to fly out to center for the second out of the inning. The game would go on, but Cookies & Cream had rallied from 4 runs down in their final at-bat, scoring 3 of the runs with one out, to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

Cookies & Cream removed Dinger from the game and turned to their ace, Guthrie who had two innings of pitching eligibility remaining for the game. He retired Mark and Helal in order in the top of the seventh, and the game remained tied at 9-9.

Guthrie pitched two perfect innings of relief for Cookies & Cream

Guthrie pitched two perfect innings of relief for Cookies & Cream

Mark stayed in the game for Eastbound, and he made history in the bottom of the seventh. After retiring Guthrie for the first out of the inning, Mark intentionally walked Morrison, the first intentional walk in the history of the EWL. The little mentioned rule had never been used, but after Morrison had hit four home runs in the game, he seemed as ideal a candidate as any player. The next batter, Joey, could not make Eastbound pay for the first intentional walk. He flew out to deep center, extending the game.

Guthrie remained in control in the top of the eighth, retiring the side in order.

With the score tied at 9-9, Dinger led off the bottom of the eighth inning. He blasted a deep fly over the left-field fence, and the solo shot, his third of the game, would serve as a walk-off homer for Cookies & Cream. For the second consecutive game, Cookies & Cream had come from behind to win on a walk-off homer.

The 10-9 victory gave Cookies & Cream a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series with Eastbound & Dahn, one win away from advancing.

W: Guthrie (2-0)
L: Mark (0-1)

Box Score

Game Notes:
– Dinger pitched 6 innings for Cookies & Cream, allowing 9 runs on 13 hits. Guthrie relieved him, pitching 2 innings while allowing no runs and no hits, earning the win.
– Mark pitched the complete game loss for Eastbound, giving up 10 runs on 14 hits in 7 innings.
– Morrison had a historic performance at the plate for Cookies & Cream. He went 5-for-6 with a single, 4 home runs, 4 runs scored, 7 RBI, and became the first player in the history of the league to be intentionally walked.
– Dinger also had an epic game, going 5-for-7 with 2 singles, 3 home runs, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBI. His walk-off homer won the game.
– Mark led Eastbound & Dahn at the plate, going 7-for-10 with 3 singles, a double, 3 homers, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBI.
– Helal became only the second player in the history of the EWL playoffs to hit a grand slam. He drove himself in on the play.

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