You could say it wasn’t the best played game in Spooner Fork history, but they got the job done when they needed to and that is all that matters.
The night started with #1 seed Disco Balls taking on #4 seed Chili Nipples in a 10 inning nail biter. Jade White lead the Disco Balls to a season leading 5-2-1 regular season record, but Jared Amann and the Chili Nipples proved to be the better team this night of the playoffs. Disco got out to an early lead but the Nipples came back in the 5th and put up 3 runs to go up 3-2. Both teams added 2 runs in the 8th and then the Balls tied it up in the bottom of the 9th with a clutch base kick by Brian Schnell bringing in White, who walked earlier in the inning. The Nipples capitalized on solid kicking from the top of their order and regained the lead 7-5 in the top of the 10th. Their defense didn’t disappoint as they shut the Balls down and earned their spot in the final. You can sum this game up by saying the Balls ran themselves out of the game, getting caught several times on the base paths and if they played it a bit more safe, things may have been different.
The next semi-final saw the #2 seed Spooner Forks up against #3 seed Pound Town Express. The game was broken open when 3rd baseman Tom Zabkowicz blasted a ball between center and right and saw both outfielders stop as they thought the other was going to grab it. Turns out Zabkowicz circled the bases with a 3-run homerun and a 4-1 lead. The Express did get one back in the bottom of the inning when Erick Gorecki blasted a solo homerun off Spooner pitcher Ben Perales. Two innings later the Express tied the game 4-4 when Josh Christian and Dave Cyra lead off the inning with a single and double. Gorekci was able to bring Christian home with a sacrifice fly and captain Adam “Hawk” Griffin doubled in Cyra. However, that didn’t last long as the Forks were able top plate Jeff Schreiner who lead the inning off with a clutch single and gave them the lead they would not give up. The game was a real battle and the Forks earned their place in the final against the Chili Nipples.
To say the game didn’t start as the Forks wanted it to, might be the understatement of the season. Although they only let 1 run in the first inning it was the 2nd inning that was cause for concern. Combine 3 errors along with some solid base kicks and you have a bad inning as the Nipples ended up batting around in the order and plated 4 runs taking a 5-0 lead and had the Forks scratching their heads early. Knowing captain Luke Kolancheck you got the sense things were about to implode and get worse, especially when the next inning a huge error on Forks pitcher Ben Perales allowed Chili’s catcher Kari Radzik to circle the bases on a simple bunt play down first baseline. Instead of picking the ball up he tried to kick it to first and the ball was booted to right field way past outfielder Jay Bollman who was backing up what he thought was a simple toss to first. You could feel the tension, but Kolancheck gathered his team, calmed everyone down and began a slow and methodical comeback. It all started on defense where they didn’t allow another run all game and waited for veteran pitcher Jeff Schmidt to exhaust his 6 innings. Then they pounced on reliever Justin Bashaw starting in the 7th with 2 runs making it a 6-3 game. The Forks were able to figure out Bashaw’s tricky bounce pitch either being patient and walking or coming up with solid kicks. After a lead-off out in the bottom of the 8th, Spooner was able to get their next 6 kickers on base safely plating 5 and taking a 8-6 lead. A lead they would take into the bottom of the 9th and not give up as they were able to putout the first 3 kickers they faced including the always dangerous Pat Casey. Spooner Forks win 8-6!
Thanks to all the players that particiapted in the 2012 Premium Draft Kickball season. I already can’t wait for next year!
If you want to see all the game re-caps, scores, standings, player stats, stat leaders, etc… head on over to our Premium Draft page.