NWLA Hangover Tournament Recap
Saturday saw 2017's first repeat champion, another speeding ticket from an out-of-town team, and A LOT of home runs (shoutout to the wind). Let's break this thing down.
6. Old and Retired (1-5)
Old and Retired's day started off on the wrong foot when fill-in manager Brett Rooney earned himself a speeding ticket on his way up North. Things didn't get much better from there as they proceeded to go 0-3 in pool play with a -34 run differential. It looked like Old and Retired may have figured it out after beating the Caledonia Crush in the first round of double elimination, but two consecutive losses to the Eskimo Bros and Crazed Loons proved otherwise.
5. Caledonia Crush (2-3)
Leading up to Saturday's tournament, the Crush had been one of the most consistent teams in 2017. A finals appearance in the ODT followed by a finals win in the FDC made it seem like this team would be right back in the mix for another chip. They started off the day with a close 13-12 loss to the Bros, but followed it up with 16-2 and 15-1 victories. Some may say the bats got too hot too early as they quickly dropped back-to-back DE games by the scores of 4-2 and 9-7. Even with their fifth place finish, the Crush still sit atop the OCWA standings heading into the final tournament before playoffs.
4. Crazed Loons (1-5)
My sources have told me that team captain Josh "Pete" Ciolek had himself quite the Friday night, and wasn't able to fall asleep until approximately 5:30 AM on Saturday. To be honest, it's an absolute miracle that he even showed up. Pete also managed to get to the fields 15 minutes early which is something that hasn't happened maybe ever. Overall, the Loons probably had their best tournament of the year. Sure, they only went 1-5, but they had two close games versus the Dawgs and sent Old and Retired home with a Nick Ciolek walkoff grand slam. It'll be interesting to see what the Loons do with the roster moving forward, as Nick is heading back to college in a couple weeks.
3. Pavlov's Dawgs (5-3)
Folks, the Dawgs are back. After an uncharacteristic 4-7 start to the season, the Dawgs rebounded with a 5-3 third place performance. Dylan "2 Chainzz" Frankel once again proved that he's a legitimate slow pitch ace as he held opponents to just 7 total runs in pool play. The Dawgs showed that they can compete with anyone as they nearly took down the Bros in pool play and also eliminated the Crush in double elim. If this team can start putting some more runs on the board they could be a real threat moving into the final stretch of the 2017 season.
2. S.W.A.G. (6-2)
What if I told you a team that averaged almost 13 runs per game and hit SIXTY FIVE (65) home runs on the day didn't win the tournament? Well, that's what happened to SWAG. With Coyk unable to make it to this event and Justin Tomkins on the DL, Ryan Bush joined forces with Chris Roeder in what many thought would be an easy W. These two cruised through pool play and their first DE game, but were quickly brought back down to Earth by the playoff powerhouse that is the Eskimo Bros. SWAG was able to force a Game 2 in the finals but came up just short, losing a 19-15 slugfest.
1. Eskimo Brothers (5-2)
The Eskimo Bros have made the trip from Albany/NYC twice this year, and twice they have left with cash in their pockets. In the first tournament, the Bros started off slow before shutting it down on the defensive side of the ball, with Jimmy Cole tossing a perfecto in the ODT finals. Saturday's tournament followed somewhat of the same formula, except this time it was the bats that heated up in DE. Game 2 of the finals saw Jimmy Cole go off for nine (9) dingies while Chris Meador seemed to get on base every single at bat. Meador also provided incredible support in the field making impossible plays look routine.
Congrats once again to the Eskimo Bros and thank you to all the teams that made the trip! We hope to see you all for our final regular season tournament on August 26th.