Northwest Arkansas MSBL, 25+ Division
Cardinals 14, White Sox 13
‘Cardinals Walk-off for Championship Victory’
Submitted by Kyle Cherry, Cardinal’s manager
2021 was a big year for NWA Cardinals, finishing the regular season with an 11-5 record and a second seed for the playoffs. The Cardinals were comprised of the battle-tested vets including Keith Wheeler, Sam Stokes, and the trio of Cherry, Fonville, and Gatling who have been playing together in the league for over a decade. They combined with some new blood in the form of Daniel Dickey, and Travis, and Tyler Entwisle. Rounding out the squad was leadoff Daniel Sanchez, shortstop Tanner Coy, stalwart pitchers Luke Wians and Cameron Besett, RBI man Austin Gross, utility man Mike Shook and all arounder Pete Rock.
After a bye in the first round of the playoffs, the Cards had to deal with a pesky Wingnuts squad. Fonville went the distance on the mound and Cherry went 4-4 driving in five to lead the Cardinals to a 13-7 win and a date with White Sox for the NWAMSBL Championship. Fonville got the start and went six before giving way to Besett and then Wheeler. The Cardinals were up by five thanks to Travis Entwisle and Chris Gatling having great days at the plate but were unable to hold off a furious comeback from the White Sox.
Entering the bottom of the ninth down by one, Gatling got things started with a single. Sanchez followed with a liner to center to move Gatling to third. Travis Entwisle laced a double to bring in Gatling. With one out and runners on second and third, the White Sox elected to walk the 3-hole Cherry to load the bases and after a flyout for the second out, Austin Gross wore an inside pitch for the free pass to first and a walkoff win for the Cardinals!