NEW CARLISLE - Eric Nolan has talked about bringing his Son of a Pitch team (Indianapolis, Ind.) to The Wiffle®Ball Championship at Hometown Days since 2010.
The veteran of the game has to be glad he finally did.
Son of a Pitch (9-0) went undefeated for the weekend, capped by a 7-2 victory over the New Carlisle Newts (8-1) in The Wiffle®Ball Championship Game at Migley Field on Sunday afternoon.
Son of a Pitch cruised to the title after manufacturing five runs in the bottom of the first inning, an essentially insurmountable lead given the conditions at the ballpark.
With the wind blowing in, the confines were not very friendly for offense. Both semifinals featured low scoring games.
Son of a Pitch knocked off the White Lightning (7-1) in the first semifinal, 3-2, in eight innings. The eventual Champions fell behind 2-0 in the first, but were able to push a run across in the second and the bottom of the sixth to force extra innings.
In the second semifinal, an ORWBL World Series preview, the Maple City Magic (7-1) struck first in the bottom of the fifth. But with the game on the line in the sixth, New Carlisle answered with two, to win 2-1.
The 2016 Championship featured 75 teams from five states, smashing the previous record of 50 teams set just last year. The Hometown Days tournament has continued to grow since its creation in 2005 and has become one of the nation's premier events.
Nolan's squad, featuring Matt Street, Joseph Horsley, and Tyler Douthitt, took the number one overall seed into Sunday's Hometown Cup Playoffs after an impressive 4-0 showing in pool play with a +93 run differential.
To get to Migley, Son of a Pitch won the Bourissa Hills Regional, defeating Watch Yo Face in a lopsided Regional Final, 17-2.
Nolan, who pitched through a hamstring injury in the title game, was named the Kaylor Keck Marquee Player of the Hometown Cup Finals.
THE MAJOR LEAGUE: ORWBL
While Son of a Pitch hails from Indianapolis, three of the final four teams are members of the Old Republic Wiffle®Ball League, based in the area. The New Carlisle Newts made their third consecutive and record fifth overall trip back to their home ballpark. It was their second consecutive loss in the title game.
LaPorte's Maple City Magic made their second straight appearance at Migley, and their fourth in five years. Maple City has yet to break through, losing in the semifinals in each appearance.
The White Lightning, who play their home games just outside of New Carlisle, emerged on the scene as a dark horse in 2016. The young and incredibly athletic team is relentless in the field, seemingly flying to every ball hit to them.
The three-time defending champions Cult West Warriors (4-1) cruised through pool play on Saturday, extending their record winning streak to 29 games and earning a 1-seed for Sunday's playoffs. However, the bats failed to show up on Sunday morning, as the Warriors were upset by the Jelly Sticks (4-3) by a score of 5-1.
Perennial bottom-feeder Phat Dong (1-3) also broke an extended streak, winning their first game in six appearances at The Championship, ending a 21-game skid.