2011 Central Ohio Wiffleball League
Legends Claim 2nd Consecutive
COWL World Series Crown
2011 COWL World Series Prologue Return to Top
Well, after 30 games for each team it has come down to just 2 teams, The U and the Legends. I am not
sure either would be considered a surprise.
When we divided up the league into conferences our suspicions were the U would prevail in the American
League, especially since the 2 new teams in the conference were unknowns. Our best guess was Blade Sharp
would again fade as they had done in 2010 and the U would step into that void. While Blade Sharp certainly has
as much talent as any team in the league they have displayed a tendency to lose interest as the season wears on
and they lose a few games. We correctly calculated the U would just keep on chugging, although between the Brothers
Squared and the Redlegs the American League went right down to the final game. If all fast pitch games would have
been played and counted, the Redlegs would have had to go undefeated on fast pitch night 2 to stay ahead of the U.
A tall order indeed.
The Legends have gotten consistently better as their players have gotten older. Levi has become an absolute
terror at the plate, Phill is a very difficult out who has moved into the top 10 in HRs and Ben has shown an ability to
beat out routine ground balls that belies that fact he is hauling 2.5 bills in his back pocket. Given their top 6
finish at London and top 4 at the Reds Wifflefest, two of the largest Wiffle ball tournaments in the nation, I don't
think it was a huge surprise the Legends have made it to the World Series to defend their 2010 title.
The U is a team that does everything relatively well, but does not really excel in any one facet of the game.
They finished toward the bottom of the pack in number of runs scored per game -7.8, but right in line with what every
other team in their conference did - an indication of just how close the division was. Again, the U finished in the 2nd
half of the pack in runs allowed at 12.8, but very close to their conference foes. Defensively, the U is steady and
makes the plays they should, committing very few unforced errors. Pitching wise, the U has an extremely good
lineup - one of the reasons we believe they have swept their playoff series. They may not have one of the best
two pitchers in the league, but they have 3 or 4 guys right after the top tier - which means they do not have major
let downs in a series. John Kepler is probably their best, but he is followed closely by Brent Hoover, Shondrick
Locklear and Shay Netter.
Offensively, the Legends have broken nearly every COWL record on the books this year. Levi and Jerry
have both eclipsed the 100 HR mark and will both break the 200 RBI mark unless major disaster strikes. To put
that feat in perspective, Levi and Jerry have combined for 43 more HRs than any other single team, and for more
RBIs than all other teams individually in the league. Ben Cydrus has hovered in the top 5 in HRs and RBIs and
has become much more consistent in reaching base - a key factor in the explosion of RBIs for Jerry and Levi.
Phill's HR count puts him in the top 10 in the league and near the top for leadoff hitters. As a team, the Legends
average nearly 19 runs a game with a margin of victory of about 10 runs.
Defensively the Legends have 2 of the better fielders in the league. Phill ranks with Eric Lewis and Trevor
Thomas as being one of the more sure handed shortstops and Levi Driggs probably only trails Dave Fisher in the
number of web gems turned in this year from the outfield. When their ace Ben Cydrus, is on the mound, the Legends
are very solid on defense, allowing around 8 runs per game. After Ben, Jerry handles most of the pitching duties
and the Legends probably suffer a little in the field thereby. After Jerry the Legends pitching staff is not all that
experienced and that could be a major factor in the World Series as the U is probably more skilled in their rotation.
The keys for a U victory will be to score enough runs to stay close, and make enough good plays in the field
to keep the Legends from having their patented 15 run innings. The Legends average 25 runs per game on their
home field, the Woods, and if the U gives up that many runs victory will be very difficult to achieve. The U will have
to rely on good, steady pitching, solid defense and take advantage of nearly every scoring opportunity to win.
For the Legends the key to victory is focus and defense. They have been prone to giving up extra outs of
late and any team is dangerous when given 5 outs per inning. Some of that tendency is mitigated by having huge
innings at the plate, but if those do not happen, lack of focus in the field could be costly. The Legends are
experienced and have played deep into some of the best Wiffle ball tournaments around, so it will be interesting
to note their attitude regarding their second attempt at a COWL World Series crown.
World Series Summary Return to Top
The 2011 COWL World Series featuring The American League Champion The U and the National League Champion
the Legends got underway on Sunday, August 22nd at 8 PM for the first 4 games of the series. The 2010 World Series
between GDE and the Legends was a fantastic one, with high scoring, wide open games that left a high standard to match,
but the 2011 version at least rivaled that standard with a couple of very competitive down-to-the-wire games.
The Legends had home field advantage for the first 2 games of the series and chose the Woods field as home.
Game 1 started off in fairly pedestrian fashion with the Legends Ace Ben Cydrus on the mound versus John Kepler for
The U. The U put up 2 quick runs in the top of the 1st on the first series HR by Shay Netter. The Legends responded in
the bottom half with 5 runs on 2 HRs by Jerry and one by Levi. The U added a solo shot by Shay in the 2nd and the
Legends were blanked in their half to make the score 5-3 after 2.
Jordan Nelson added a 2 run HR in the top of the 3rd to knot the score at 5, but the lead was short lived as Jerry
added 2 HRs in the bottom of the inning and the Legends added 8 runs to the tally. After holding the U scoreless in the 4th,
Jerry, Levi and Ben all crushed HRs in the bottom of the inning, including a granny by Jerry to end the game by the mercy
rule 20-5. For the game Jerry led all hitters with 5 HRs and 15 RBIs. Levi Driggs added 2 HRs and Ben Cyrdus 1.
Shay Netter crushed 2 HRs for the U and Jordan Nelson had 1.
Game 2 started out identically to the 1st, with the Legends opening up a 5-2 lead in the 1st on HRs by Jerry and Levi
while Shondrick Locklear hit a 2 run HR for the U. The U sent Shondrick Locklear to the mound while the Legends posted
Phill King as their starter. Inning 2 was a very good one for the U as every player, Jordan, Shondrick, Brent, Shay and John
hit HRs and the Legends uncharacteristically had extreme difficulty fielding ground balls leading to multiple errors in the
field - and more chances for the U to tack on runs. The U pushed across 9 runs in the inning. The Legends tried to return
the favor and scored 5 on HRs by Levi and Jerry again, but trailed 11-10 heading to the 3rd. Once again the U had a good
inning when for the 2nd inning in a row every U player smashed an HR, leading to a total of 7 runs. The Legends once again
put up 5 on HRs by Levi and Jerry. Inning 4 belonged to the Legends as Ben and Jerry both hit HRs and scored 9 runs.
After 4 innings the Legends led 19-18. The U continued their hitting streak in the last frame as Shondrick and John both hit
key HRs and the Legends bad case of fumble fingers sprouted once again. When the mayhem was done the U had pushed
across 11 huge runs to lead by 10 going into the bottom of the 5th. The Legends did not fold up as a HRs by Levi and Ben
were followed by a Granny by Jerry to cut the margin to 29-25. The U rebounded with the final 2 outs of the inning and
claimed game 2 to even the series 1-1, giving the Legends their first loss on the Woods field all year.
For the game Shondrick had 4 Hrs and 8 RBIs while John Kelpler added 3 HRs and 8 RBIs also. Brent Hoover, Shay
Netter and Jordan Nelson also had 2 HRs in the U's very balanced attack. Jerry led the Legends with 5 HRs and 14 RBIs.
Levi Driggs added 4 HRs and Ben Cydrus 1.
Game 3 moved to J & M field for 2 games where the U would be the home team. The U sent Brent Hoover to the
mound while the Legends responded with 10 game winner Jerry Driggs. The Legends got off to a quick start on a 3rd
Granny by Jerry Driggs and lots of base hits. Shondrick and Brent both hit solo shots for the U and the 1st inning ended
with the Legends on top 9-3. Inning 3 featured a HR by Levi and the Legends scoring 3. The U scored 6 runs on a Shay
3 run HR and some aggressive base running, leaving the score at the end of 3 12-10 Legends. Inning 4 featured a Grnny
by Levi Driggs to give the Legends some breathing room and the Legends brought in Levi to close the game and he
managed to hold the U scoreless in the bottom of the 4th. The top of the 5th saw Phill King hit his only HR of the night, a
3 run blow that would eventually be the difference in the game. The U did not go quietly as a 3 run HR by Brent Hoover
and some key hits narrowed the score from 19-9 to 19-10 before the Legends could slam the door to take a 2-1 series lead.
Totals for the game had Jerry leading all hitters with 4 HRs while Phill King, Ben Cydrus and Levi Driggs went yard once
each. Both Brent Hoover and Shondrick Locklear crushed 2 HRs for the U and John Kepler added 1 to his very
Game 4 matched Levi Driggs as starting pitcher for the Legends versus Jordan Nelson for the U. Shondrick
Locklear and Levi Driggs provided most of the offensive fireworks in game 4 as both had crushed 3 HRs through the 3rd
inning with Ben and Jerry both providing HRs for the Legends including a 4th Granny by Jerry. After 3 see-saw innings
The U led 12-10. In the top of the 4th the Legends pushed across 5 runs, including a 3 run HR by Levi. The U responded
with 4 runs of their own on HRs by Brent and John and the score stood at 15-14 Legends heading into the top of the 5th.
The Legends scored 2 runs in the top of the 5th on Levi's 5th HR of the game and took a 17-14 lead into the bottom of
the last inning as ace Ben Cydrus returned to the mound for his final inning of the night. Two close plays at first netted
a runner on 2nd with 1 out and Ben managed to coach the U into 2 very hard line drives directly at the defense and the
Legends claimed game 4 of the World Series to mount a 3-1 lead. For the game Levi Driggs led all hitters with 5 HRs and
9 RBIs while Ben Cydrus added 2 HRs and Jerry 1. For The U Shondrick Locklear led with 3 HRs and 6 RBIs while John
Kepler and Brent Hoover both added a HR.
Play resumed on Sunday, August 28th with the Legends leading the series 3 games to 1 and the U needing a 3 game
sweep to claim the COWL 2011 World Series title. Game 5 was played on the Legends home field, the Woods field. The
Legends sent their ace Ben Cydrus to the mound in an attempt to close the series out and The U responded with Shondrick
Locklear, who had beaten the Legends in game 2 of the series.
The U got on the board first on a monster HR to center by Shondrick Locklear and led 2-0 after the top of the first.
The Legends wasted no time in their pursuit of a 2nd consecutive COWL World Series title as 3 HRs by Jerry and 1 each
by Levi and Phill in the bottom of the 1st gave the Legends a 10-1 lead after inning 1. The U made an attempt to get back
into the game in the top of the 2nd, when Brent hit a 2 run HR and another run scored on some nifty base running. The
Legends were held to 2 runs on Jerry's 4th HR of the night - a 2 run blast. After 2 the Legends led 12-4.
Brent Hoover added another solo HR in the top of the 3rd for the U but Legends ace Ben Cydrus was able to retire
the rest of the side in order. Inning 3 would prove to be the deciding frame as the Legends added 9 runs on 3 HRs by Levi,
2 by Jerry, and one each by Phill and Ben, including a 3 run walk off HR by Levi to end the game in the mercy rule.
For the game Jerry led the Legends with 6 HRs and 11 RBIs. Levi added 5 HRs and 10 RBIs. Phill crushed 2 HRs
of his own and Ben added a solo HR. For the U, Brent crushed 2 HRs with 3 RBIs while Shondrick added 1 HR.
For the series Jerry led all hitters with 20 HRs and 50 RBIs. Levi added 14 HRs and 30 RBIs. Ben crushed 6 HRs
and 9 RBIs while Phill added 3 HR and 11 RBIs.
For the U, Shondrick led the way with 10 HRs and 22 RBIs while Brent smashed 7 HRs and added 12 RBIs. John
Kepler had one of his best series of the year, crushing 5 HRs and adding 16 RBIs. Both Shay Netter and Jordan Nelson
had an excellent series going yard 4 and 3 times respectively and delivering 9 and 10 RBIs.
COWL Wiffler of the Week World Series Return to Top
The COWL Wiffler of the Week for the World Series was much like the Divisional Championship week
choice. Individuals do not generally win championships, it takes a team. Undoubtedly the Legends success
in the League and playoffs can be credited to their teamwork. Every player has taken their game to the
next level this year and these have added up to a fantastic year and a 2nd World Series title.
Levi Driggs eclipsed his 2010 HR total by a whopping 48 and his RBI total by 67. Jerry increased his
HR total by 31 and his RBI total by 88. Ben Cyrdus cranked up his HR total by 11 and his RBI count by 19.
Even leadoff batter Phill King improved upon his great 2010 year by increasing his HR total by 4 HRs and
his RBI total by 22.
What resulted was a whole lot more runs - an average of 9 more per game. In comparison, HRs and
runs scored per game fell by almost 20% per game compared to 2010 league games - down from 10.2 per
game by both teams to 8.4 and run averages down from 25.7 per game to 21.4 per game for both teams.
The Legends transcended this trend by averaging over 20 runs per game and 10 HRs per game. On
the way to establishing many new league offensive records they posted a league record for mercy rule wins
at 14, over 40% of their win total. In comparison, GDE, with the next highest mercy rule total, recorded
4 wins by the mercy rule on the year.
The Legends also improved in the field. With the development of Ben Cyrdus as their ace pitcher the
Legends gained a 3rd solid fielder. Levi's 6" of additional height made many more balls in reach both
vertically on jumps and horizontally on dives. Phill continues to improve at short averaging a play per game
that begs the question, "how'd he do dat ?"
In summary, the teams in the league have improved dramatically and it has shown at the other events
league teams have played in as they advanced deep into the tournaments and beat some very good teams.
Due to their seasoning, and Levi's growth, the Legends managed to out pace the league's improvement
in 2011. It is unlikely Levi, or any of the Legends, will grow another 6" before the next season. The question
arises, will the Legends be able to maintain their dynasty as teams continue to improve and new teams join
the league and it becomes ever more competitive ?
Time will tell...until then, congratulations to all league teams on a great year !
Game Scores (Home team on top) Return to Top
Legends 20 Legends 22 The U 16
Levi Driggs LEG(2) John Kepler U(3) Levi Driggs LEG(1)
Ben Cydrus LEG(1) Brent Hoover U(2) Ben Cydrus LEG(1)
Shay Netter U(2) Shay Netter U(2) Phill King LEG(1)
Jordan Nelson U(2) Jordan Nelson U(2) Shondrick Locklear U(2)
Jerry Driggs LEG(5) Brent Hoover U(2)
Levi Driggs LEG(4) John Kepler U(1)
Ben Cydrus LEG(1)
The U 14 Legends 22
Ben Cydrus LEG(2) Levi Driggs LEG(5)
Jerry Driggs LEG(1) Phill King LEG(2)
Shondrick Locklear U(3) Ben Cydrus LEG(1)
John Kepler U(1) Brent Hoover U(2)
Brent Hoover U(1) Shondrick Locklear U(1)