Space City Pinball League Season 7 Week 8: Ending on a high note

This Wednesday night league meet was the last one before the league playoffs (more on that at the end of the post). I had one last chance to (hopefully) nail down one of the higher seeds, having already clinched A division back in week 6 if not earlier.

I did not play any warmup games for a variety of reasons, including that I arrived rather late. I would be grouped with Fred Revnew, Elizabeth Dronet, and Chris Palis. The game lineup was Attack from Mars, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Houdini, Aerosmith, and Medieval Madness. Star Wars was out on the floor but malfunctioning.

We would start off with a game on Medieval Madness. Chris pretty much ran away with this one from the beginning, posting 3.5M+ on ball one with nobody else breaking out of six-digit territory. I was still in a relatively good position after two balls, facing a 4.3M+ final score from Elizabeth and scores of 4.1M+ and 1.2M+ from Chris and Fred respectively. I would do damned little to improve signing off with a 2.9M+ that would hold up for third place. Not exactly the start I wanted.

Moving on, we would then play on Houdini. I had an early lead after ball 1 with 55K+ to Chris’s 50K+. Chris and Fred would bounce back and leave me staring down a 159K+ and 378K+ after two balls. I would again post a third place with 136K+ finishing ahead of only Elizabeth. I’d really like to make last weeks’ controversy moot so I’m looking forward to doing something, anything, to finish with a total of 13 standings points or more. Basically, with four standings points after two games, that means at least two first-place finishes in the final three games.

We would play our third game of the night on AC/DC. The first ball was a dud for everyone with all four of us posting sub-2M scores. Elizabeth would have a slight lead over everyone with a 2.9M+ at the time I plunged ball 2 into play. I had a great ball and managed to jump out into the lead with 13.2M+, and this was without getting into a multiball mode. Even though I did not need to play it to win, I would play a very brief third ball and sign off with 16.2M+. So, nine standings points after three games, and only one more first place (or, second place and then third place or better) needed to make week 7 the other drop week.

The fourth game of the night would be Aerosmith. The game would get off to a very unambitious start for me, with a sub-1M score against Fred’s 5.3M+ and Elizabeth’s 12.7M+. Those would balloon to 22.9M+ and Elizabeth’s 13.9M+ by the time I got back up to plunge ball 2. I would get back in it boosting my score to 15.4M+ but by the time I came back up to play ball 3, I would be staring down a 45.1M+ and 37.6M+. I had a really good Toy Box Multiball but would come up just short with a final score of 34.8M+, a really high score for coming in a lowly third. I made a lot of good saves, got a lucky Lazarus bounce, and even had one ball airball right into the plunger lane (when I was afraid it would go into the outlane ending my ball instead). These are the kind of things one doesn’t see on the scoreboard; it’s easy to dismiss this as “bleh, another third-place game” without the story behind it.

It would come down to the last game of the night on Iron Maiden. I jumped out to an early lead with a 20.1M+ first ball. Fred would take a momentary lead putting up 22.6M+ after his ball 2. I would retake the lead with 28.6M+ after two balls, and then Fred would sign off with 23.7M+. So I have the lead and I’m assured of at least second place even if I just plunge my ball and walk away. Which I’m not going to do, because I’m feeling pretty hot. What happened next is the stuff that legends are made of.

I’m fuzzy on details, but I would play a very long third ball with many different multiball rounds. To put it simply, I was in the zone. It seemed like every shot I really wanted to make, I made. I would get an extra ball, which I was allowed to play since there were only 31 players. It felt like time stood still, but the score counter definitely did not. This wasn’t just any win; this was a SKQuashing. Before playing my extra ball I had surpassed 152M, and would sign off with a white-hot 173.7M+ for a new personal record. Enough for me to enter my initials, as well.

If only I had four more games like that to nail down the #2 seed. As it stands, Bryce Revnew snuck in with his own solid performance across all five of his games to post 25 standings points and bring him up to 109, one point over my 108. (Incidentally, Bryce’s scores from this week included a 159.7M+ on Iron Maiden not too far behind my own and a 53.0M+ on Aerosmith which would also have beaten everyone in my group.) Erich Stinson put up 19 standings points, bringing him up to 109 after dropping his 14 from last week (funny coincidence, that). Those would push me down to the #4 seed with a final total of 108.

It’s been a great season, and so far I’ve had a blast. But, the amazing performance which put me in the #4 seed is not going to mean much if I can’t pull it together in the playoffs and win. If you can come out tonight to Eighteen Twenty Lounge and show your support, I’d appreciate it. There is a Facebook event page with the details. I will be posting updates there later today and tonight.