Cookies & Cream Rally Late to Take Game 3 and Extend Series with Eastbound & Dahn

9 Aug
Guthrie had a solo homer and a 2-RBI triple in bottom of the fourth, leading Cookies & Cream's rally

Guthrie had a solo homer and a 2-RBI triple in bottom of the fourth, leading Cookies & Cream’s rally

Cookies & Cream trailed 5-0 and were only six outs away from being swept by Eastbound & Dahn, but they rallied with 7 runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead and hold on to win game 3 and keep their season alive, forcing a game 4.

Eastbound & Dahn’s roster was depleted heading into game 3, as they were missing their MVP candidate Morrison, who had moved to DC, their best fielder and leadoff hitter Hartley, who was out of town, and their staff ace Helal, who was out for the week. They would head into game 3 with roster regulars Christian and Nate, recent free agent acquisition Dustin, and Ryan, who would be making his EWL debut as Eastbound tried to clinch their first playoff series win and advance to the Wiffle Series.

Cookies & Cream would have their full roster for the first time in weeks, playing with their 2014 playoff roster of Joey, Blose, Guthrie, Dinger, and Vassallo. With their season on the line, Cookies started their ace Guthrie on the mound.

Nate, the hero of game’s 1 and 2, led off game 3 with a double. The next batter, Dustin, singled, moving Nate to third, but Dustin was caught trying to advance the hit into a double for the first out of the inning. Guthrie then retired Christian, stranding Nate at third and ending the inning.

Eastbound turned to Christian as their starting pitcher, hoping to close out the series with a win. He retired the first two batters he faced, Joey and Blose, and the game was scoreless through the first inning.

Eastbound got on the board in the top of the second, taking an early lead. Ryan singled in his first career EWL at-bat, and he moved to second when Nate grounded out for the first out of the inning. Dustin then doubled, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. Christian followed with a line drive off Guthrie’s legs, and as the ball ricocheted into foul territory both runners came around to score. Christian’s RBI single put Eastbound ahead 2-0.

Christian continued to roll in the bottom of the second. Dinger hit a one-out single, but Christian stranded him, retiring Vassallo to end the inning.

Nate singled to start the top of the third, but when the next batter, Dustin, grounded out to the mound, Guthrie stepped on the mound to double off Nate, ending the inning.

Cookies continued to struggle at the plate in the bottom of the third, as Joey and Blose were retired, and Christian had retired 6 of the first 7 batters that he faced.

Eastbound would add to their lead in the top of the fourth. Ryan singled with one out, and he moved from first to third when Nate followed with a double. Dustin then hit a three-run bomb to center, and Eastbound & Dahn had pulled ahead 5-0. Guthrie retired Christian to end the inning, and Cookies trailed by five runs.

Dustin's three-run blast in the top of the fourth put Eastbound ahead 5-0

Dustin’s three-run blast in the top of the fourth put Eastbound ahead 5-0

Trailing by five and with only one hit, a single, through three innings, it looked as if Cookies & Cream’s season would end quietly. However, they responded in a big way in the bottom of the fourth, rallying with seven runs to take the lead in game 3. Guthrie started the inning with a solo homer to left, putting Cookies & Cream on the board. Two batters later, Vassallo hit a one-out double, and he scored on a Joey RBI single, making the score 5-2. Blose then singled to put runners on first and second with one out, and Guthrie delivered an RBI triple, clearing the bases and pulling Cookies & Cream closer at 5-4. Dinger then hit an RBI single to score Guthrie, tying the game at 5-5. Vassallo, who had missed the past several weeks, followed with a two-run blast, and Cookies & Cream had come from behind to take the lead at 7-5. Christian then retired Joey to end the inning, but Eastbound had surrendered their big lead and trailed by two heading into the fifth.

Cookies & Cream celebrate at the plate after Guthrie's lead off homer, which started the seven-run rally that kept their season alive

Cookies & Cream celebrate at the plate after Guthrie’s lead off homer, which started the seven-run rally that kept their season alive

Ryan led off the top of the fifth with a solo homer, the first of his career, making the score 7-6. Two batters later, Dustin doubled with one out, and the tying run was in scoring position. But Guthrie cracked down and retired Christian to strand the runner, end the inning, and preserve a one-run lead for Cookies.

Ryan's solo homer in the bottom of the fifth pulled Eastbound within a run

Ryan’s solo homer in the bottom of the fifth pulled Eastbound within a run

Blose led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer, putting Cookies & Cream back ahead by two runs 8-6. Christian retired the next two batters to end the inning, and Eastbound trailed by two heading into the top of the sixth.

Eastbound was used to trailing heading into their final at-bat. They were down by 6 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of game 1 before scoring 7 runs to win, and they were down a single run in the bottom of the sixth of game 2 before scoring 2 runs to win. This time, in game 3, they would need 2 runs to extend the game and 3 runs to win. Guthrie remained on the mound for Cookies & Cream, and he retired the first batter he faced, Ryan, for the first out of the inning. The next batter was Nate, who had won games 1 and 2 with walk-off homers. Incredibly, he hit a towering solo-homer to left, pulling Eastbound within a run at 8-7. Nate was now 4-for-4 in the sixth inning in the series, with a double, 3 home runs, 4 RBI, and 4 runs scored. It looked as if Cookies & Cream was about to blow their third straight lead in the final inning, but Eastbound couldn’t keep the magic alive. Guthrie got Dustin to fly out to right for the second out of the inning, ending the game and giving Cookies & Cream an 8-7 game 3 win.

Cookies & Cream now trailed Eastbound & Dahn 2-1 in the best-of-five first round series heading into game 4.

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

Box Score

Game Notes:
– Guthrie pitched the complete game win for Cookies & Cream, giving up 7 runs on 12 hits in 6 innings.
– Christian took the loss for Eastbound, allowing 8 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings.
– Guthrie and Vassallo led Cookies at the plate. Guthrie went 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI. Vassallo went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI.
– Nate and Dustin led Eastbound & Dahn on offense. Nate went 4-for-6 with a single, 2 doubles, a home run, 2 runs scored, and an RBI. Dustin also went 4-for-6 with a single, 2 doubles, a home run, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI.
– Ryan went 3-for-5 with 2 singles, a home run, 3 runs scored, and an RBI in his wiffle debut.

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