Eastbound & Dahn Rallies for Seven Runs in Bottom of the Sixth, Capped by Nate’s Walk-off Homer, to Stun Cookies & Cream 13-12

7 Aug
Nate had a legendary performance in game 1, hitting two homers in the bottom of the sixth, including the epic walk-off homer than capped Eastbound & Dahn's fantastic 13-12 win

Nate had a legendary performance in game 1, hitting two homers in the bottom of the sixth, including the epic walk-off homer than capped Eastbound & Dahn’s fantastic 13-12 win

Eastbound & Dahn took a 1-0 series lead over Cookies & Cream after a highly improbable and phenomenally dramatic seven-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Nate’s walk-off homer gave Eastbound a 13-12 win in one of the most exciting playoff games in league history.

The two teams came into their first round matchup on completely different trajectories. Eastbound had been pummeled in their final two games and would enter the playoffs without their star player, Morrison, who moved to Washington DC weeks earlier. Cookies, on the other hand, had snapped a long losing streak with a blowout win over Eastbound to end the season, and they entered the series with a full roster for the first time in months. In a rare late-season trade, Dustin was claimed off waivers from Cookies & Cream by Eastbound & Dahn, plugging a hole left in their lineup by Morrison’s departure.

Helal started on the mound for Eastbound, and Cookies would hit him hard early. Joey led off the game with a solo homer, putting Cookies & Cream ahead 1-0 immediately. Blose followed with a triple, and he scored when Dinger grounded out for the first out of the inning. Guthrie followed with a one-out solo homer, and Cookies led 3-0. Helal then retired Joey to end the inning, but Eastbound trailed by three runs.

Cookies & Cream turned to their ace, Guthrie, to start the playoffs, and he retired the side in order in the bottom of the first.

Guthrie uses his claw-like hands to snag a fly ball to the mound

Guthrie uses his claw-like hands to snag a fly ball to the mound

Helal got back on track in the top of the second, retiring Blose and Dinger for a scoreless inning.

Eastbound got on the board in the bottom of the second, cutting into the Cookies lead. Dustin led off the inning with a triple, and he scored when Christian grounded out for the first out of the inning. Helal followed with a double, but he was caught trying to extend the hit into a triple, and the score was 3-1 after two innings.

Blose tripled and scored in the top of the first to put Cookies & Cream ahead early in game 1

Blose tripled and scored in the top of the first to put Cookies & Cream ahead early in game 1

Joey hit a one-out solo homer, his second of the game, to put Cookies & Cream ahead 4-1 in the top of the third. Helal then retired Blose to end the inning.

Joey led Cookies & Cream with three homers and 5 RBI and helped them jump out to a lead in the fourth

Joey led Cookies & Cream with three homers and 5 RBI and helped them jump out to a lead in the fourth

Eastbound drew even with Cookies & Cream in the bottom of the third with a three-run rally. Tim started the inning with a solo homer, cutting the score to 4-2. Two batters later Dustin hit a one-out single, and Christian drove him in with an RBI triple to make the score 4-3. Helal then hit an RBI single to tie the game at 4-4. Tim followed with a double, putting runners on second and third with one out, but Guthrie buckled down, retiring Nate to end the inning and strand two runners.

With the game tied at 4-4, Cookies & Cream exploded for six runs in the top of the fourth to take a commanding lead. Dinger led off the inning with a single, and Guthrie followed with a single to put runners on first and second. Joey followed with a three-run homer, and Cookies led 7-4. Blose then homered, and his solo shot put Cookies ahead 8-4. After a Dinger double, Guthrie hit a two-run bomb to left-center, and Cookies had pulled in front 10-4. Eastbound had seen enough from Helal and turned to Christian from the bullpen. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced, Joey, but then retired Blose and fanned Dinger to end the inning, stranding the runner.

Christian, delivering a pitch to Dinger, was effective in relief for Eastbound & Dahn

Christian, delivering a pitch to Dinger, was effective in relief for Eastbound & Dahn

Guthrie cruised through the bottom of the fourth, and Cookies led by six runs after four complete innings.

Christian continued to pitch effectively in the top of the fifth, pitching a scoreless inning, and the score remained 10-4.

Eastbound cut into the Cookies lead in the bottom of the fifth. Helal doubled to lead off, and he scored when Tim hit an RBI triple to make the score 10-5. Nate then hit an RBI single to score Tim, cutting the score to 10-6. Dustin followed with a single, but Nate was caught in between bases on the play for the first out of the inning. Guthrie then retired Christian to end the inning.

Christian and Eastbound & Dahn put on their game faces in the bottom of the sixth of game 1

Christian and Eastbound & Dahn put on their game faces in the bottom of the sixth of game 1

Cookies would make up the two runs with two insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Joey led off the inning with a single, but was caught trying to advance the hit into a double for the first out of the inning. Blose followed with a double, and he scored from second when Dinger hit an RBI single to make the score 11-6. Guthrie then singled, and Dinger scored from first to put Cookies ahead 12-6. Christian retired Joey to end the inning, and Cookies led by six runs as Eastbound went into their final at-bat.

Two outs away from a 1-0 series lead, Cookies proceeded to complete one of the most dramatic collapses in EWL playoff history, as Eastbound put together an epic string of hits to come from behind in the bottom of the sixth in the most improbable fashion. Helal led off the inning with a solo homer, giving Eastbound life and cutting the score to 12-7. Tim followed with a double, and then Nate connected with a two-run blast, making the score 12-9. With their lead cut in half, Cookies removed Guthrie from the mound and brought Blose in for the save. The first batter he faced, Dustin, hit a mammoth solo shot to right-center, and Eastbound had cut the score to 12-10 before recording an out. Blose then retired Christian for the first out of the inning, and Cookies were not one out away from clinching a victory in game 1. Helal then followed with his second homer of the inning, and Eastbound had pulled with a run with the score 12-11.

Eastbound & Dahn celebrate at the plate as they build momentum in the bottom of the sixth

Eastbound & Dahn celebrate at the plate as they build momentum in the bottom of the sixth

Tim followed with a homer, and the back-to-back homers had tied the game at 12-12. Eastbound had scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend the game at least one more batter. One more batter is all that it would take, as Nate came to the plate and crushed a solo homer to left, his second of the inning, and Eastbound & Dahn had won the game on a walk-off homer. They homered six times in the bottom of the sixth to score a miraculous seven runs and win game 1 by the score of 13-12.

Nate revels in victory after hitting the game-winning walk-off blast to give Eastbound & Dahn a 1-0 series lead

Nate revels in victory after hitting the game-winning walk-off blast to give Eastbound & Dahn a 1-0 series lead

W: Christian (1-0)
L: Blose (0-1)

Box Score

Game Notes:
– Christian earned the win for Eastbound & Dahn, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and striking out one in 3 innings of relief. Helal got the no-decision, giving up 10 runs on 10 hits and striking out one in 3 innings.
– Blose took the loss for Cookies & Cream, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits in 0.5 innings pitched. Guthrie earned a no-decision, surrendering 9 runs on 14 hits in 5 innings pitched.
– Helal led Eastbound & Dahn at the plate, going a perfect 5-for-5 with a single, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI.
– Tim went 5-for-6 with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 homers, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBI.
– Nate hit two home runs in the bottom of the sixth, including the walk-off game-winning homer. He became the first player since Dinger in 2013 to hit a walk-off homer in the playoffs.
– Joey led Cookies & Cream on offense, going 6-for-7 with 2 singles, a double, 3 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 5 RBI.
– Dinger tied the record of strikeouts in a game with 2, previously set by Charlie (Ham Slams) in 2013.
– Eastbound & Dahn’s 3 triples broke the previous record of 2 set by many prior teams.
– Cookies & Cream tied the record for strikeouts with 2, previously set by the Ham Slams in 2013 and 2014.
– Eastbound & Dahn tied the record for pitching strikeouts with 2, previously set by Questionable Outfit in 2013 and Cookies & Cream in 2014.

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