Let the record show that on Sunday night, the South rose again — in kickball.
The Atlanta-based Dirty South Crunkball All-Stars muzzled Brooklyn’s all-star team, the Tigers, 5-3, claiming its first Brooklyn Kickball League All-Star title in nearly four years.
It was a victory even more remarkable for the fact that the Tigers mauled the Crunkball All Stars in Saturday’s qualification round, 6-3.
The hard-kickin’ Georgians’ turnaround started with flawless defense in the field, which held off every mounting Tiger rally.
According to team captain Greg “General Lee” Vanker, the southerners made crucial adjustments on defense between games and relaxed when on the field.
“We were starting to stress out [on Saturday], but today we had some positive reinforcement,” said Vanker, whose Georgia nickname is the less creative, “Cranker.” “We came out here to have a good time.”
It was a frustrating day for the Tigers and co-captains Justin “Nipple” Taylor, “Hey” Kate Brown, and the injured Matt “Marquis De” Sadewitz.
“I’m unbelievably proud of my team,” said Sadewitz, who was going for his third straight all-star game title as a team captain. “Everyone gelled well. We lost our first game in the tournament and figured out where we needed to be where and then we just clicked.”
But not on Sunday night, when Tiger fielding errors gave way to several unearned runs and Tiger legs booted only four balls out of the infield, settling for one run at a time.
It was scoreless through the first two innings, until the Crunkballers struck with two runs in the top of the third after putting their leadoff man on base.
In the bottom of the third, Sadewitz took off his sling protecting his shoulder and drove in his team’s first run with a single to right field, firing up his teammates.
But the Tigers could never get over the hump and the Crunkballers had a lead throughout, adding a run in the fifth, and two more in the seventh.
The Tigers’ best chance came in the bottom of the eighth, when they loaded the bases with only one out. With one run already in after a single by Rob “Matzo” Lotzko, the next kicker, Ama “Gross Indecency” Ndianeze, clipped the left field foul line and would have tied the game — but the ball was ruled foul.
A pop fly occurred on the next play and another rally was snuffed out.
Still Brown, whose bid for a three-peat ended bitterly, tipped her cap to the Crunkballers, saying that no one expected her team to be in the finals and her team played valiantly.
“They had an airtight defense,” said Brown. “We couldn’t get through. Being the best all-star team in Brooklyn isn’t so bad.”