The 2016 WMBL Playoffs have been exciting so far to say the least. We are now down to the final four teams in the league. Round 2 of the playoffs starts tonight in Swift Current, and Medicine Hat.
Of all of the series in the first round, Edmonton upsetting the West Division champion Okotoks Dawgs had to be the most surprising. The Prospects opened the series with two huge wins on the road in Okotoks. In game 1 which was suspended due to rain Noah Gapp pitched an absolute gem over two days. Gapp threw all 9 innings, allowing only 2 earned runs on 4 hits, while striking out 12 Dawgs batters. Two big innings of 3 and 4 runs, including a grand slam off the bat of Colin Kreiter sealed the 7-2 win for the Prospects. Game 2 saw more of the same as the Prospects downed the Dawgs 5-2 on strong pitching once again. Erik Sabrowski pitched the final 4.2 innings of the game for the Prospects allowing only 1 hit and striking out 6 en route to the save. The Dawgs battled with a win in game 3, but the hole was too much to climb out of and Edmonton took the series in game 4, led by a 3-3, 2 R, 4 RBI game from leadoff hitter Tony Olson. Congratulations to the Edmonton Prospects for moving on to the second round where they will take on the Medicine Hat Mavericks.
In the other series in the West the Medicine Hat Mavericks took care of Lethbridge in 3 games, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Both game 1 and 2 in Medicine Hat went to extra innings. Game 2 was a 14-inning marathon that ended with a 2 run walk-off on the Bulls after they had taken the lead in the top of the 14th. In game 1 WMBL all-star Jared Libke threw one of the most impressive games in recent memory. Libke threw all 10 innings for the Mavs. He allowed only 3 hits, a single run and struck out 10 over his 10 innings of work. Libke threw 116 pitches in game 1 and an incredible 79 of them went for strikes. The defending champion Lethbridge Bulls were unable to recover from the 2-0 hole they dug themselves, and the Mavericks took game 3, 9-5 in Lethbridge to advance to the second round. It can be assumed that Jared Libke and Noah Gapp will be on the mound for their respective teams tonight in game 1 of the second round. It will surely be a great baseball game, and most likely a pitcher’s duel. Congratulations to Medicine Hat on advancing to the second round.
Over in the East Division, Swift Current handed the Weyburn Beavers a quick 3 game sweep to advance to the next round. As has been the case all year the Swift Current bats were too much to handle. The Indians put up 34 runs in 3 games, and batted a ridiculous .374 as a team in the series. Maybe even more impressive, every Indians starter in the series recorded multiple hits, and had a run and an RBI over the 3 games played. Swift Current catcher, Bodie Cooper hit two long balls in the series to go along with 5 in the regular season. The top to bottom contribution from the entire lineup will certainly be tough to beat as they move into the second round to take on the red hot Yorkton Cardinals. Congratulations to Swift Current for moving on in the 2016 WMBL Playoffs.
In the other East Division series the Yorkton Cardinals continued the remarkable run they have been on the last month of the summer. The Cardinals are now 19-5 in since July 5th. The Cardinals beat the perennial powerhouse Regina Red Sox in 3 games, and did so without their top pitcher, Kody Rock. In game 1 the Cardinals won on a walk-off single by Caden Rosholt in the bottom of the 10th inning to pick up the ever-important first game in the series 6-5. The next two games were never really in doubt as Yorkton took care of business 6-1 in both games. Dylan Borman led the way on offense hitting .625 with 3 RBI’s in the series. Hunter Hisky added 6 RBI’s of his own over 3 games. On the other side of the ball the Yorkton pitching staff was outstanding all series. Justin Johnston threw a complete game 3 hitter in game 2 to pick up the win. In game 3 of the series Max Biedrzycki threw another gem allowing only 3 hits in 8 innings to pick up the win and help advance his team to the next round. Congratulations to Yorkton for advancing to the second round of the 2016 WMBL Playoffs.
All in all it was a great first round of the 2016 WMBL Playoffs. Make sure you come out and support your team if they remain in. Thank you to all of the fans who came out to support the WMBL in the first round. Game times for tonight are as follows:
Edmonton Prospects @ Medicine Hat Mavericks Athletic Park @ 7:05pm.
Yorkton Cardinals @ Swift Current Indians Mitchell Field @ 7:05pm.