20 Seasons Highlights CD: Milestone Wins, Success in FL

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
By Kyle Dawson
20 Seasons Highlights CD: Milestone Wins, Success in FL

In 2022, the Washington Wild Things are celebrating their 20th Frontier League season. The team will be celebrating in numerous ways Opening Weekend, beyond that and in several other ways. As part of our celebration, we're counting down some of the historical highlights the organization and team has seen occur over the first 19 seasons of Wild Things' baseball in the league. 

The countdown isn't in any specific order in terms of importance, but it's time we visit some of the best on-field moments, significant historical accomplishments, records, traditions and more. 

Plans for the celebration of the 20th season of Frontier League baseball for the Washington Wild Things are still in the works and whenever they get announced, you can rest assured the party will not stop all season long with the festivities kicking off May 13-15 with Opening Weekend. 


Over the 19 seasons that have been played by the Washington Wild Things in the Frontier League, the club is 949-849, good for a .528 winning percentage in the 1,798 regular-season games the team has played. That game total is the fourth most games played in league history: behind the Evansville Otters (26 seasons), the Windy City ThunderBolts (22 seasons) and the River City Rascals (20 seasons, no longer in the league). 

The 949 wins for Washington are also the fourth most in league history behind those four teams, and the team's .528 winning percentage is the second-best percentage among active Frontier League teams that have played more than one season, behind Schaumburg's .537 winning percentage in nine seasons. 

The Wild Things reached 100 wins late in the 2003 campaign, meaning it took less than two seasons to get to the milestone. They reached 200 with their 28th win in 2005, a 62-32 season. The 7th win in 2007 was the 300th in team history, while the fourth in 2009 went down as win #400. 

So far, 11 teams in Frontier League history have reached the 500-win mark. Washington reached the milestone July 21, 2011, in a 14-4 win over the Rockford RiverHawks. The Wild Things blasted five homers in the game played at Road Ranger Stadium, one each from Chris Sidick, Scott Lawson, Estee Harris, Ernie Banks Jr. and Luis Rivera. Rivera drove in four in the contest. 

Nine teams have reached 600 wins in league history. The 600th win in Wild Things' history came late in the 2013 season, 10-8 over the Florence Freedom (now Y'alls). The Wild Things scored four times in the bottom of the eighth to take the 10-8 lead at then CONSOL Energy Park. AJ Nunziato was 4-for-5 at the dish with three runs scored, while multi-time All Star C.J. Beatty was 3-for-3 with three RBI. Mark Samuelson was 2-for-4 with six RBI, a performance that included his 11th home run of the season. Stewart Ijames also had two hits and a run batted in.

Seven teams have reached 700 wins. Washington's 700th win occurred August 29, 2015 against Evansville at home. Maxx Garrett hit his fourth homer of the season while Cody Herald drove in four. Matt Fraudin tossed 7.1 innings of two-run ball with a walk and four strikeouts before Steve Messner finished the game with 1.2 innings of hitless, scoreless baseball from the bump. He fanned three. 

Six teams have reached 800 wins in the Frontier League: Washington, River City, Evansville, Windy City (formerly Cook County), Florence (reached it this past season) and Gateway. Right around playoff-clinching time in 2017, Washington won its 800th game, which capped a five-game win streak helping to boost the team's playoff chances. After getting to 799 with a sweep-clinching win over Joliet, 15-5 August 31, Washington traveled to Traverse City and won No. 800, September 1, 8-2 over the Beach Bums. All-time innings pitched leader Chase Cunningham threw seven innings of one-run ball but did not receive a decision. Davis Adkins picked up the victory after the Wild Things scored seven times in the top of the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie that had lasted since the top of the third inning. Washington won without homering at the pitcher's ballpark. James Harris drove in two as did Mike Hill. Bralin Jackson, Kyle Pollock and Kyle Reese also had a run batted in. The ninth started with a Harris triple before he scored on an RBI single by Jackson. With the sacs full, Pollock lifted a sac fly and reached on an error after a balk before Hill cleared the bases with a three-run double. Harris then singled home Justin Bohn to cap the scoring in the inning. The win brought Washington's magic number to two and the team clinched the next night. with help after splitting a doubleheader.

Win No. 900 came in in 2021 for Washington. The 7th win of the season made Washington the fourth team to reach the milestone. Gateway became the fifth later in the year. Washington scored four times in the fourth inning at home to tie the game after Équipe Québec scored once in the first, twice in the third and once in the fourth. Two runs scored on a sacrifice fielder's choice and an error before Andrew Czech's two-run homer tied things up. A Gabe Howell RBI single gave the Wild Things the lead in the sixth and a Grant Heyman sac fly made it 6-4. The visitors tied the game with singular runs in the seventh and eighth innings and Washington re-took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on Heyman's second sac fly of the evening. Zach Strecker earned his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth to lift Washington to the historic win. 

In terms of playoff success, Washington has reached the postseason 10 times, including three of the last four Frontier League seasons after making it every year from 2002 to 2007 and again in 2014. The team has made four appearances in the FLCS but is still in search of its first Frontier League title. They've come one-win away in their last three FLCS trips, a loss to Windy City in 2007, to Joliet in 2018 and Schaumburg in 2021. That said, the 10 trips to the postseason are the 2nd most in league history behind Evansville's 13. River City made it nine times before exiting the league, while the Chillicothe Paints made it eight times. The next closest active teams in the league are Gateway and Lake Erie, who have made five postseason trips in their respective team histories. 

Now the task is reaching 1,000 wins. It'll take a 51-plus-win season to do it this year in the 20th season for the Things in the Frontier League. In the 19 seasons, Washington has averaged 49.9 wins, putting them right on pace this year to get it done. Washington is on pace to become the fourth team to reach the plateau.


To keep up with the countdown, see below for trips back in the past to our previous three stops on the countdown. Stay glued to our social media, website and more for more information regarding our big plans for the 20 Seasons Anniversary celebration, because it's sure to be wild. We're giving you the presents, the parties, the fun and more as a thanks for your support over the years and the support we know will continue to be shown to us. 

20 Seasons Countdown History:

20: James Harris Makes History with First Wild Things' cycle

19: Barry Bonds a Wild Thing? We revisit the moment that got the Wild Things national attention!

18: Two Triple Plays in Wild Things history

17: Postseason Awards, All Stars

16: MVP's, Pitchers of the Year

15: Midseason All Stars, ASG's hosted in Washington

14: Longevity, Attendance Milestones

13: Pat McAfee: A Professional Baseball Player

12: Major Traditions

11: Unmatched Perfection: Matt Sergey's Perfect Game