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WWA has action-packed Opening Day



Goose eggs can be found on the scoreboard most games when Matt McColloch is on the hill.

Heaters, home runs and even a little bit of heckling -- Opening Day for the Westwood Wiffleball Association had everything you could ask for as a spectator.

Overnight storms did little to dampen the spirit of the competitors Sunday. All 10 teams were able to make their debuts on the new field behind Westwood Church of Christ, which looked picture perfect for Opening Day. And if the first round of games was any indication, expect a competitive league in 2021.

Each team competed in a two-game series Sunday, beginning with games at 2:30 p.m. and action continuing to the last minutes of daylight. Of the 10 games, six were settled by four runs or less, including two extra-inning games and a 1-0 nailbiter in the second series.

Sawyer Seymour got a pressure-packed out in extra innings of Game 2 Sunday to lead the Playground Legends to their first win. Seymour was able to strike out Wesley Jennings, who had been crushing the ball for the WiffleSnappers, with the bases loaded to end the game in the fourth.

Eli Kuykendall had helped break a 3-3 tie after three innings, hitting a home run in the top of the fourth for the Playground Legends in the eventual 7-4 victory. WiffleSnappers won the first game of the day 9-4.

The Bench Warmers and El Niño’s also battled to a split Sunday, with the Bench Warmers winning 8-3 before Casey Hertwig put on a show in a 1-0 victory for El Niño’s.

Hertwig carved up the Bench Warmers in the second game, dipping down to a side-arm motion from the left side that was baffling hitters. He knew which pitch was going to get it done most of the night, especially against the big bats for the Bench Warmers.

“I had to go with the riser. It was working for me,” said Hertwig, who had a crucial K to end the game after the Bench Warmers had the winning runs on base.


Southpaw Casey Hertwig was locked in Sunday.

Reed Garrison’s lead-off home run was the lone offense in the contest. The Bench Warmers were unable to rekindle the magic at the plate of their Game 1 win, which featured Layne Roberts, Wyatt Wilson and Jay Medley all pounding the ball.

It was a former teammate showdown when Medley was swinging against Hertwig – both were on the World Series Champions of the WWA in 2020, Acuna Matata, but this year are now the veterans on young teams. For Medley, swinging against Hertwig was just about putting the bat out there.

“You don’t see it, you just swing and hope you hit it,” said Medley with a laugh after the teams split their battles.

Hitters probably felt the same way when Acuna Matata took the field to defend its World Series title from last fall. While the roster isn’t the same, they still have the league MVP and one of the most feared pitchers in the league, Matt McColloch.

Despite wearing a large brace on his elbow, which is protection against an old baseball injury, McColloch was still lights out. He was on the mound helping Acuna Matata win 4-0 in their first game against Purple Reign, further cementing his place as one of the league’s alpha dogs.

Other competitors watching the games were joking about taking vacation when it came time to face Acuna Matata and their ace. It may only get tougher from here though, depending on McColloch’s elbow.

“I injured it in school and it flared up against last year, so I’m not throwing has hard right now,” said McColloch, who only offered a smile when asked if he would have some more in the tank by playoff time.

Park Hillard did his best to try to salvage a split for Purple Reign in the second game, but Acuna Matata pulled off the sweep with a 7-5 victory. Hillard was able to hit a pair of two-run bombs off Merek McColloch, but Acuna Matata got some timely hits from the McColloch brothers and Ryan Campbell to weather the storm.

John Bryan O’Connor felt the heat of the sweep the most, as the league’s organizer heard some light-hearted jeering from the big crowd during his at-bats. O’Connor, a Silver Slugger in 2020, may be the first person heckled in the WWA, but he got back on track in Game 2.

“I had two hits – had to stop the heckling,” said O’Connor, who laughed off the peanut gallery consisting of many of the youth members at Westwood.

Grumpy Old Men was the only other team to leave Sunday with a 2-0 record. The group took down the SharpShooters 9-7 and 20-1 in their two-game set.

John Hanson had a big grand slam for Grumpy Old Men Sunday.

John Hanson came through with the biggest hit of the night for Grumpy Old Men, powering his team to victory with a key grand slam in the second inning of Game 1. It was a no-doubter, drilled deep into left field that had Hanson and his whole team smiling.

“It’s just a lot of fun to come out and play,” said Hanson after the games.

The final game of the night also went to extra innings. The Walk Off Warriors and Smashing Pumpkins had played three innings without a run, but Logan Underhill changed it with one swing. Underhill pushed Smashing Pumpkins to a 3-0 win, hitting a pivotal two-run homer in the clutch (the team added a run via a bases-loaded walk later).

It was tough finish for the Warriors, who started the series with a 6-0 victory and seemed to be cruising behind the pitching of David Martin.

Action will be hot and heavy at Westwood Church of Christ this month. Games are scheduled on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays all month, including a Home Run Derby set for Sunday, Aug. 22.

This week’s schedule is as follows:


Monday, Aug. 2

Smashing Pumpkins vs. El Niño’s, 6:15 p.m.

Bench Warmers vs. Playground Legends, 7:15 p.m.


Tuesday, Aug. 3

Grumpy Old Men vs. WiffleSnappers, 6:15 p.m.

Purple Reign vs. Sharp Shooters, 7:15 p.m.


Thursday, Aug. 5

Acuna Matata vs. Walk Off Warriors, 6:15 p.m.

El Niño’s vs. Playground Legends, 7:15 p.m.





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