Who's On First? Building Kickball Dynasty

Thomas Hipp (center with ball) claimed his second MVP award in the annual HPLS kickball game. Photo by Andy Havens.

MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—In a see-saw game that came down to the final swing, Who’s On First? muscled out a 30-26 win over What’s On Second? in the annual HPLS Kickball extravaganza in the Health & Sports Center on Thursday afternoon.

After the Whats tied it up at 26-26 in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Duncan Simpson, the Whos mounted a rally in the bottom of the frame that was capped by Thomas Hipp’s game-winning walk-off grand slam.

Simpson did his best to keep the Whats competitive. His big leg accounted for a game-record two triples and eight runs batted in. But he couldn’t match the one-two punch of the Whos, Ryan Saunders and Thomas Hipp who combined to go 12-for-14 (6-of-7 each) with five home runs and 16 RBI.

The Whats jumped out to a big 14-9 lead after the first four innings. But in the fifth, the Whos closed to within two at 14-12. They shutout the Whats in the top of the frame and Saunders belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the frame.

With momentum swinging in favor of the Whos, the Whats rallied for a massive eight-run inning in the sixth to extend the lead to 22-12.  Jared Hawley, Kevin Crombie and Henry Apaloo each knocked solo homers to start the frame, then Henry Ariza, Simpson, Bill Marino and Elodie Wendling chipped in RBI singles and Hawley closed the inning with another single to plate Marino.

In danger of being kicked out of the game, the Whos found their stride in the next inning and a half. Capped by another three-run homer from Saunders, they scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, they held the Whats to just a single run, on an Ariza sacrifice fly and then turned around in the bottom of the frame to post another six runs to take a 24-23 lead. Saunders, Jose Paez and Maria Lopez had RBI singles and Brian Galvin added a two-run double.

In the eighth, Simpson led off with a homer to tie the game at 24-24 and BJ Wagy put the Whats up 25-24 by knocking in Wendling.

But in the bottom of the inning, Lopez responded with a two-run homer, the first by a female in the game’s history, to take a 26-25 lead.

After Simpson’s RBI knotted the game at 26-26, the Whos wasted no time in securing the win as all four batters reached base and scored in the bottom of the ninth. Kate Foley led off with a single and advanced on a error. Whats manager Kathy Ludwig elected to walk Galvin to set up the force, but that brought Saunders and Hipp to the plate with no outs. Saunder singled to load the bases and Hipp blasted a grand slam to win it. It was his third homer of the game and eighth RBI. He had two-run shots in the first and second innings.

The win was the second in a row for the Whos after the Whats won in 2009 and 2010. For Hipp, it was also his second MVP award after winning one with the Whats in 2010.

Year

Winner

Coach

MVP (team)

2009

What's On Second?

Dr. Dan Rosenberg

Jenn Szczepanski (Who’s On First?)

2010

What's On Second?

Dr. Darlene Kluka

Thomas Hipp (What’s On Second?)

2011

Who's On First?

Cesar Odio & Bill Sullivan

Nick Goode (Who's On First?)

2012

Who's On First?

Bill Sullivan

Thomas Hipp (Who's On First?)

Oh oh ....

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