NWLA: We Took on the Group of Death, and Lived to Tell the Tale
Earlier on in the year, Ryan Bush and I joked about a potential “Group of Death” at the NWLA Tournament. We said that it would consist of us, Tampa, and WSEM. Well we got a taste of that this time around, as all three were in a pool with CWBC and newcomers HVWBL. And what a crazy experience it was.
Our first game was against the defending champion TBW Lightning at 6:15 am. The sun had just risen when the first pitch happened. After a long game with few hits, we broke through in the fifth and beat the defending champs, who went on to go a shocking 1-3 in pool play. Next up were a couple no doubter wins over CWBC and HVWBL, 11-2 and 13-4 respectively. Our final group of death game was a pitchers duel between Chris Roeder and Sam Hatt that ended after 45 minutes in a scoreless tie. Stupid ties. Anyway, WSEM went on to lose to Tampa giving us the group win.
The group of death experience was a fun one, but I can say most confidently that it took some strategy, along with some Advil. Waking up at 4:30 am hurt, and as much as I love wiffleball, I would prefer to never do that again. The second issue I had with the pool play was the stupid time limits. 45 minutes isn’t nearly enough time to finish a 6 inning game. But everyone wanted four pool play games, which I still don’t understand because THEY MEAN NOTHING. Seriously, do we really need to be up that early for pool play?
In conclusion, we loved the Group of Death experience and would really appreciate getting put in an incredibly easy group like SWBL next season.