HERITAGE– When the SweatSox played the Mavericks in our regular season finale back on August 11th, the Mavericks were thinking one thing: stay healthy for the Lumberjacks. The one thing on the minds of the SweatSox: OBPE!
This particular SweatSox-Mavericks matchup didn’t look too competitive on paper, with the Vegas oddsmakers establishing the Sox as the -10.5 run favourites:
- The Mavericks were already locked into a first-round playoff matchup against the Lumberjacks, so they had very little to play for against us.
- The SweatSox could clinch the #2 seed with a win.
- The Mavericks were down to 1 pitcher, the same pitcher we saw in all 3 of our previous 2019 matchups.
- The SweatSox were starting our 2019 Pitcher of the Year: Josh Ramage.
- The Mavericks didn’t have notorious SweatSox killer Mark Bustard in the lineup.
- The SweatSox bracketologists confirmed a win was the best way to avoid “The Big Hurt-ubise” in Round 1.
- The Mavericks had Jamie Beaupre in their starting lineup.
- The SweatSox were looking to become the highest scoring team in the NCBL this season.
The SweatSox lineup took a BIGGGG hit minutes before the game, when Chris Lidstone suddenly realized he was hours away from the field (he did not purposely skip the game to protect his average, this isn’t 2016 Liddy). With the God of the Thunder out, and Kent Johnston too tired from a full day of baking (cupcakes), Cory Bond slid into Thor’s spot in the order (2) just ahead of Craig Cornell and Dillon Lowry, who were fighting it out for the most team RBI’s.
Since this was the last game of our regular season, several team records were ripe for the taking. The SweatSox single season RBI record was the first to fall, and it fell hard. With a 1st inning RBI, Craig Cornell momentarily tied #14’s 2007 record, but it was Dillon Lowry with 4RBI’s out of the cleanup spot that broke and set the new standard at 29:
The SweatSox single season HBP/BB record also didn’t stand a chance this year, especially with a magnet like Mark Bond playing in 22 games this year. With a 3rd inning walk, the Bus Cop reached base for the 32nd time this season via hit-by-pitch or base on balls, 2 more times than Kent Johnston did in 2010:
Eric White had himself a season, setting new single-season team records in plate appearances, hits, and singles:
…but he only tied the team record for stolen bases:
Sadly, the record Eric was really after this year was the team’s single season TOTAL BASES record, set way back in 2005. Came up just short:
The SweatSox scored 14 runs against the Mavericks, and officially became the highest scoring team in the NCBL this year:
Our 255 runs scored was also the 4th most runs in NCBL history:
Cory Bond already led the team in career pitching strikeouts (499), but when Kent Johnston made the call to bring in our GLE in relief for Ramage, the opportunity was there for #500. Cory made quick work of vet Tyler Dale and rookie Jay Kim via non-strikeouts, setting the stage for an epic showdown with the power hitting Jason Park, who had just crushed an RBI double off The Arsonist the inning before.
Jason Park joins an elite list of NCBL superstars to be struck out by the GLE in his milestone moments. To nobody’s surprise, Marc Lett was behind the dish for this historic K.
The Candyman became the 15th player in NCBL history to reach 500 career strikeouts. Teammate Eric White will look to become #16 on Opening Day 2020 (only if Ramage struggles and he comes in relief).
FULL GAME RECAP: The SweatSox won 14-2 in a 5-inning mercy shortened game, covering the spread, and locking up the #2 spot in the Tier 3 playoffs.
With all the records and milestones that were set during the game, the “biggest” moment of the night came during the Après Baseball Hyjinx when an unnamed, shirtless, SweatSox catcher, reintroduced himself to Armando Navarro:
Final SweatSox vs Mavericks Notes/Thoughts:
- Army was not wearing a cup.