The 2011 Wayne’s WIFFLE for A Wish changed the format a little in it’s third year of existence adding a second division to the tournament for teams interested more in having fun and raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation of Maine than playing for trophies or a title.
The first year of the Executive Division, as it was called, was a big hit. 7 teams participated, and it was split into two divisions for Round Robin play. The team representing a local construction company Sargent Corporation won their group with a pair of one run victories and a forfeit to advance to the title game, in the other division a local plumber, Tim’s Plumbing, also went undefeated but by much larger margins of victory, picking up 19-0, 13-0, and 5-1 wins en route to the title game. Both Tim’s Plumbing and Sargent Corp had played in previous tournaments, Tim’s had never won a game before this year, and in their title game Tim’s Plumbing jumped out to an early lead, but Sargent chipped away at it, and got back within a couple of runs, but could not get all the way over the hump. Tim’s Plumbing wins the first ever Executive Division Championship by a final score of 11-to-6.
It was thought the removal of the Executive Division teams would create a tighter and more wide open Open Division tournament. And in some cases that was true but the cream did rise to the top.
Warning Track Power was back for the third year and looking for their first title and they rolled through pool play 19-2, 16-0, and 13-8 to claim the top seed in the playoffs based on run differential.
The Sons Of Pitches which features Hall of Fame athletes from the University of Maine Presque Isle, and the University of Maine in Orono the latter played professional baseball in the Astros Minor League organization, they were the number two overall seed and handily won their division, with a run differential of plus 33.
JRB Brothers the team with the least amount of players on the roster with just 3 guys, went 3-0 in pool play including a win against the 2010 champions Chicks Dig the Longball in their final round robin game in a 19-15 slugfest. Swing and a Whiff new to the tournament this year was the number 4 seed.
The 5th seed was the 2009 champs, and 2010 runners up Wiffopotamus. They were playing a man down when one of their core four man roster couldn’t make the tournament, but their ace pitcher did make it, Garth McNally the 2009 tournament MVP and most dominant pitcher in the field rescheduled his wedding date to be able to play this year. Yes, he rescheduled his wedding, and his, now wife, was fine with the idea. They went 3-0 in pool play and didn’t allow a run in 3 games.
The Wiffle Kings also won their division and finished with an unblemished 3-0 record. They are the organizers of the annual Lincoln, ME Homecoming tournament and proved they can play *and* set up a tournament. The only division winner who didn’t finish 3-0 was Finkle & Einhorn Insurance Group, three teams in their group all went 2-1 in pool play, but based on run differential Finkle & Einhorn won the divsion title.
All of those top 7 teams received a bye into the 2nd round of the playoffs along with the top team who didn’t win their division, who also went 2-1 and had a run differential of plus 17, Butter My Wiffle.
24 Teams total made the single elimination playoffs, 16 teams met in the first round of the playoffs and we had a pair of upsets. Wiffle House advanced by beating the 2009 runners up Blue and His Players by a score of 2-0, the other upset saw a team who narrowly reached the playoffs at 1-2 pull off a stunning 36-4 upset of 2-1 team PositiveOne who made the trip to Bangor, Maine from Massachusetts to play in the tournament.
In the second round of the playoffs Wiffle House continued their upset march to the quarterfinals with a 9-0 victory against 4th ranked Swing and A Whiff 9-0. The #8 seed Butter My Wiffle was knocked out by the #9 ranked We Love Fat Pitches 5-2, Livin tha Dream upset #7 Finkle & Einhorn Insurance Group 6-to-1. In the round robin they played in the same division and it was the same margin of victory but Livin’ Tha Dream lost the first meeting 5-0. The most talked about game of the second round was a matchup of the last two tournament champions and the 2009 titlists Wiffopotamus beat the defending champs Chicks Dig the Longball 10-0 in a mercy rule shortened game, again Wiffopotamus had not allowed a run.
In the quarterfinals #9 We Love Fat Pitches kept the upset train rolling, knocking off the Wiffle Kings 3-1. Wiffle Kings beat them in the round robin by a mercy rule 10-0 score in the first game of the day at 9am. The top ranked Warning Track Power put an end to the upsets of Wiffle House and sent them packing 13-to-9. #3 seeded JRB Brothers continued to roll along, and stopping another upset minded club Livin’ Tha Dream handing them a 10-4 defeat. The 5th ranked Wiffopotamus finally gave up a run in the quarterfinals in their game against the 2nd ranked Sons of Pitches. But SOP could only manage a single run, and fell victim to the 09 champions 13-1 in another run rule game.
The final four was set and the Top ranked Warning Track Power faced off against #5 Wiffopotamus. A run was scored early and that was the difference, and that run came on a double by Warning Track Power as they advanced to their first ever title game with a one to nothing victory. In the other semifinal, 9th ranked We Love Fat Pitches jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and it looked like a run rule game was on it’s way. And it was. Just not the way you expected. JRB Brothers kept chipping away at the lead, and got it to 9-4, and 9-7, and then took the lead 11-9, and expanded the lead and then finished it off on a home run hit by Bob Perry which may not have landed yet, oh my did he crush that one, drink service was provided on that blast and the in flight movie was Waterworld it was so long and it was a walk off winner by the mercy rule, 19-9 the final.
Two teams who’ve never played for the title before met in the title game, and the limited roster seemed to catch up with JRB Brothers after 12 hours of WIFFLE, and the talent and diversity of Warning Track Power didn’t help. Josh Seeley a former goaltender for the UMaine Hockey team pitched three scoreless innings, and Jake Jones finished it off on the mound. 10-0 was the final as Warning Track Power won the title in a championship game of a pair of classy teams.
Warning Track Power won all 7 of their games by a combined score of 79-to-19, averaging more than 11 runs a game, and they didn’t allow a run in the semifinals or championship game.
Seeley was named the tournament MVP for his performance on the mound and at the plate.
Congratulations to Ernie Gerrish, Mikey Gerrish, Jake Jones, Logan Jipson, Scott Tash, Josh Seeley and Blaine Marston the 2011 Champs.
They now will have to defend their title in the 2012 tournament in an attempt to become the first two time champion of Wayne’s WIFFLE for A Wish, the games will be played Saturday August 18th in Bangor, Maine for more information you can contact email@example.com.
But the real winners of the tournament was the Make A Wish Foundation of Maine, with 33 teams on hand, raffle prizes, 50/50 drawings, a home run derby, and T-shirt sales, along with corporate sponsorships, we were able to raise $8050. The average cost to grant a wish for a deserving child in Maine costs $6000, and based on the numbers a wish is granted every five days in the state. That means a group of 180 people who were out playing a kids game were able to make one child’s wish come true. And that is the real reason we play the games.
We’ll see you August 18th, 2012!