Banana Sluggers win White Lightning

While the number of teams that showed up remained the same and last year's tournament champs defended their title, the second annual White Lightning Wiffleball Tournament presented by the Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department still showed plenty of areas of growth.

"We're trying to set up a mid-summer tradition," recreation coordinator J.P. Albert said. "Hopefully every year it will continue to grow. We've learned so much both years so far, just in the minor rule changes and clarifications and the logistics of how to set up the park. Hopefully it will continue to improve."

Albert's team, the Banana Sluggers, which included Trevor Johnson and Austin, Jordan, Morgan and Brady Ovard, defended its title by beating the team of Kyle Wentz, Trevor Crawford, Steve Henricksen and Rich French 1-0 in eight innings at Stodick Park Sunday.

"The competition got better, the pitching got better and the field of competition just got better as a whole," Albert said. "We've been playing with this same group of guys in our backyard since we were little.

"As time goes on, it is going to get much closer. It really could have gone either way this year."

This year's event was two days long with pool play on Saturday and double-elimination on Sunday. Each of the nine teams involved got to play at least eight games.

"We had some really close games and some really lobsided games on Saturday," Albert said. "You could tell some people were still trying to figure out the rules and the strategies. Even just how to pitch and hit the ball.

"By Sunday though, it got very competitive. We had some awesome games, a lot of them went into extra innings."

The Banana Sluggers went 6-0 on Saturday to advance as the No. 1 seed, but ran into trouble in the semifinals against a team from Tahoe.

Tahoe took a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth before Brady Ovard hit a walk-off two-run home run to clinch a 3-2 victory.

In the championship round, Wentz's team picked up a 2-1 victory in eight innings to force the second game.

"Kyle was just throwing gas," Albert said. "He was unhittable. It was a pretty awesome game."

Brady Ovard singled to center field with the bases loaded to bring in the winning run and clinch the title.

"I think everyone had a good time," Albert said. "People got eliminated after their second game and still stuck around to watch. People were telling me they couldn't believe they were just waiting around to watch Wiffleball, but it is really a fun time."

Three fields were constructed at Stodick with fences 80 feet down each line and 100 feet to center field.

The pitchers' circle was 35 feet away from home plate. Teams fielded four players at a time with a pitcher and three fielders.

A catcher wasn't needed as the pitcher aimed for a strike plate just behind home. Baseball gloves and cleats were not allowed.

"There's a couple more things we're going to change," Albert said. "We're going to move the pitchers back because that ball really gets on you in a hurry."

Nine teams competed, with three returning from last year.

"Hopefully all the new teams come back and we get a few more next year," Albert said. "We were really glad we had enough to make it a two-day event this year. Everyone got to play a lot of games."

-- Joey Crandall can be reached at or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment