FB Squad swings to title
By EMILY H. WAKE (September 10, 2017)
The FB Squad, on Tuesday, barely claimed the final spot in the 20-team Courier Club Wiffleball Classic field.
On Sunday, they were the last team standing.
The FB Squad went 6-1 overall, including a perfect 3-0 on Sunday, to capture the 28th annual Courier Cup crown.
En route to their first championship, they beat the Know It Alls and the Swingmen, both by 6-4 scores, and then fended off the Heart Breakers in the final, 5-3.
Tournament MVP Nick Funk hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to give FB Squad a 3-0 lead in the championship. They tacked on two unearned runs in the fourth and then held on in the fifth, withstanding a Heart Breakers’ rally to pull off an impressive championship run.
″(The Heart Breakers) have won a bunch of these and spanked me a bunch of times, too,” Funk said. “They usually hit me pretty good. For whatever reason today I was locating my pitch pretty well. They couldn’t square it up. Lucky for us.”
Joining Funk on the All-Tournament team were teammates Donnie Funk and Tommy Mourgenous, Wes Perreault and Jeff Richardson of the Heart Breakers, the Swingmen’s Jason Cronier, and Jayson Whitehouse of the Wiffle Kings.
The championship was scoreless through 2½ innings. In the FB Squad third, Zack Drouin and Mourgenous led off with singles, setting the stage for Nick Funk’s homer. He hit a blast that was a foul ball by inches in the second, before coming back to deposit his three-run job well over the fence in left field for the 3-0 lead.
After there were two outs, FB Squad loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Drouin, Mourgenous and Nick Funk, before an error on Donnie Funk’s grounder ushered two runs home to widen the FB Squad lead to 5-0.
The Heart Breakers, who have won four of the last seven championships, did not go quietly.
Matt Chick and Richardson singled to start the fifth before Mourgeonous robbed Josh Edgerly, of a hit with a nice running catch in left field. A walk loaded the bases and Perreault walked to force in a run to make it 5-1.
Two more runs scored on Richardson’s squibber in front of home plate. Nick Funk fielded it and quickly flicked low to the catcher, his brother Jon, but it was low and got by Jon for two runs.
Edgerly then fouled out to Jon Funk, who made a nice catch to end the game.
A key defensive play came in the second when the Heart Breakers loaded the bases with no outs on two hits and a walk. But Edgerly grounded to Donnie Funk at third. He stepped on the bag for one out and then threw out Perreault at the plate for a double play. A whiff ended the inning.
The FB Squad nearly missed playing in the tournament. Tournament director Joel Chagnon never received confirmation they were in despite several attempts to contact them (a changed cell phone number didn’t help matters).
Nick Funk reached out to Chagnon on Tuesday and was told the FB Squad had never checked in to confirm they were playing.
“But they had a slot left, luckily, so Chagnon signed us up right then,” Nick Funk said.
The FB Squad went 2-2 last year and did not make it to Sunday, but one of their wins was over the Kraw Sox, who went on to win the championship. “So we knew we had a good team,” Nick Funk said. “We knew we had a shot — Day 2, at least. That’s what we were hoping for going into this year. Obviously we got a little bit more than that.”
In other tournament action Sunday, the Heart Breakers advanced to the final with a 17-2 win over the Rochester Rogues and a 4-1 win over the Wiffle Kings.
The Wiffle Kings won their first playoff game with a 6-4 decision over the defending champion Kraw Sox.
In the best game of the day, the Swingmen knocked off the Slime Dogs, 10-9, in the first round. Jess MacLennan singled home Tim Carpenter with the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning.
NOTES: The Wild Ones’ Kyle Carignan won the annual home run derby, beating defending champion Kory Ferullo, of the Rogues, in a playoff. ... The FB Squad is one of seven teams to win one Courier Cup title. ... It was the Heart Breakers’ seventh trip to the final since 2007.
2017 AWARD WINNERS
Nick Funk, FB Squad (MVP)
Donnie Funk, FB Squad
Tommy Mourgenous, FB Squad
Wes Perreault, Heart Breakers
Jeff Richardson, Heart Breakers
Jason Cronier, Swingmen
Jayson Whitehouse, Wiffle Kings
HOME RUN DERBY CHAMPION
Kyle Carignan, Wild Ones