Pitcher's duel, extra innings and a triple play featured in Marysville's kickball championship game

MARYSVILLE — The Gremlins had been here before — just a year ago, in fact.

Playing for the highest stakes the city of Marysville's kickball league has to offer once already helped the Gremlins remain calm in a game where tensions ran high at Rudy Wright Memorial Field.

"We knew this field like the back of our hands," said Gremlins team member Cory Friess. "You can't come back after losing in the championship the year before and not make it. People will think you just slacked off in the offseason."

Showing the determination and gumption that only comes with a full year of training, the Gremlins defeated team Kick Rocks 3-1 in eight innings July 27 and made good on an opportunity lost to team Home Plate in 2009.

Scoring the winning run was "Sandals" Rob Christiansen, who led off the eight inning with a double and came around to score on Nicole Peterson's bloop single. Christiansen scored from third, winning a play at the plate. After being called safe, Christiansen, who was already halfway sliding into home, fell on his back and raised his arms to celebrate. Christiansen credits the victory to his obscure footwear for a kicking sport.

"When I first came up, I was wearing them just for the heck of it," he said. "Then I took them off, but we weren't doing well, so I put them back on."

He finished the game with two doubles and two runs scored for the Gremlins, which had a number of Marysville Parks and Recreation employees.

A low-scoring affair for kickball, the two teams were deadlocked at 0-0 for the first three innings before Christiansen scored the go-ahead run in the fourth. Kick Rocks came back with a run in the fifth on heads-up base running that turned a single into a double and allowed a run to score from second.

The 1-1 tie lasted until the eighth inning, when the Gremlins had the bases loaded without an out and ended up scoring two. Kick Rocks got out of the jam by turning a triple play in the infield.

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