After Coach Anthony Reese secured his third straight World Series birth in Saturday’s three game sweep of Jeff Kilgard’s Crushers, there was only one spot left to be determined.
Mike Holst took his High Rollers into Goonie territory for game one on Sunday afternoon. The High Rollers came in down 2-1 in the best-of-five Saukie divisional series. In a defensively sound game, the High Rollers came through with a huge road victory 7-4 forcing a decisive game five. The game lasted just over one hour, one of the quickest of the year.
Players took an hour break to chat with family and play a little football as Paul scrambled to find a way to cook the 50 bison burgers and hot dogs. Thankfully, a friendlyRock Islandneighbor was gracious enough to let Veto League use his gas grill.
After a hearty lunch, players thought it would be a good idea to play a second contest to finish the divisional series. With bellies full, the teams put up a combined 13 runs through the first two innings, more than the previous game’s total runs. Aches, pains and unsettling gas surrounded Ridgewood Field as players wondered why they had decided to play another contest after the lunch buffet.
The High Rollers, led by Scott Raes’ six-for-six and four runs and Kevin O’Neill’s four runs and five RBI, took a seven run lead into the final 7th inning frame. Paul said heading into the dugout, “Goonies never say die.” And they didn’t. The Goonies plated seven runs to tie the game 22-22 heading to the bottom half. The High Rollers, who had scored every inning up until that point, were shut out in the bottom frame.
After holding the Goonies squad scoreless in the 8th, the High Rollers brought the top of their order up. Barton reached base and was advanced to second on Raes’ base knock. O’Neill then drove in the game winning run with a line drive down the line, scoring Barton from second, and giving Holst a spot in the World Series in his first year as Veto League captain.
The Goonies were led by Kevin Powell’s five hits, runs, and RBI, including an inside-the-park homerun.
The squads combined for 45 runs in the 8-inning game, the most runs scored in one game this season. The record for a 7-inning game still stands at 59 runs, set in 2009.
The World Series will commence this Saturday as Veto League returns to Douglas Park.