Ankle Halifax was the hero after a dramatic, controversial Game 4 finished with the Charleston Shoe Thieves crowned as ILB champions.
In Game 1, the Wings turned to their ace Anastasia Isarobot, who hardly let the Thieves get on base for most of the game. The occasional single or double gave Charleston hope, but a rally in the ninth would put the Shoe Thieves on the edge of a miracle comeback. Fish Summer, a veteran with lots of playoff experience, couldn’t deliver as the final batter and Mexico City picked up a 1-0 series lead with a 1-0 win.
In Game 2, Alexandria Rosales was able to keep the Wild Wings’ offense at bay, directing them to take lots of shots at center field, where defensive star Penelope Berkowitz roams. The Shoe Thieves got huge homers from Kaj Statter Jr. and Ankle Halifax and worked out of a late jam to pick up the 3-0 win and even the series.
The Wings got off to a great start in Game 3, getting to Kit Adamses early thanks to Jefferson de la Cruz. But it would be Ankle Halifax delivering another huge home run in a back-and-forth game that would put the Shoe Thieves ahead 4-3 heading into the ninth. Fletcher Peck got on with a triple and a chance to tie it in the final frame, but Adamses kept it cool and the Thieves went up 2-1, but not before chipping in a couple of bonus runs in the bottom of the ninth.
I wrote on Twitter that things were about to get interesting in Game 4 … and boy, did things get interesting. The Thieves got out to an early lead, with Jammy Decksetter finally getting hot with a homer to put them up 2-0 in the fourth. Then, the Wings would lose their best offensive player, as Fletcher Peck was hit by a falling Yusef Puddles in the middle of the game. This inspired the Wings to step things up, and they’d rally in the sixth inning to tie the game.
Late in the game, with a runner on second, Carter O’Connor made decent contact with a pitch and reached first safely, only to be tagged out at second trying to extend the play to a double. The runner from second, Baldwin Jones, touched home plate, but the Umpires did not recognize it as a score. Either they deemed Jones didn’t score before the tag was applied, or missed it … but either way, we played on tied 2-2.
Then, it was Ankle Halifax one last time, batting in the bottom of the ninth with Fish Summer on second, who would smoke a ball through the infield to score Summer and win the title for the Shoe Thieves, three games to one.
It’s the second championship for the Shoe Thieves, who finished the regular season second in the Awful Good division with a 65-25 record.
The Shoe Thieves’ previous championship, in Season 9, was also won in the bottom of the ninth, on a Stu Trololol three-run homer.