Saturday night was a historic one for the Swift Current Indians. The team went into game 3 of the WMBL Finals with a 2-0 lead in the series, and an 8-0 record to that point in the playoffs. With a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Prospects, the Indians completed a clean sweep of the playoffs going 9-0 en route to the championship. With a 9-0 playoff run the Indians matched the incredible run the Lethbridge Bulls had last year with the same 9-0 record in the post-season. The Indians who have long been a perennial powerhouse in the WMBL picked up their first WMBL Championship since 2010. Congratulations to the players, staff, family and fans of the Swift Current Indians on their amazing 2016 playoffs.
The final series came down to a battle on the mound, as scoring was at a premium all series. In the end the Swift Current Indians scored 10 runs compared to only 3 from the Prospects in the 3 game series. In game 1 Luke Wiechec and Ryan Pope combined to hold Edmonton to only 2 hits while striking out 10. Pope pitched 3 hitless innings in relief to pick up his first save of the series. In game 2 it was a similar story as Bobby St. Pierre and Pope pitched the Indians to another tight 2-1 victory. Pope picked up his second save in as many nights going 2 more scoreless innings in relief. In the deciding game of the series Pope showed some true heart by pitching 3 more innings, his 8th in 3 consecutive days. The 5’8” right-hander out of Sterling College was named WMBL Finals MVP for his 3 consecutive saves. All told for the 2016 Playoffs, Pope threw 16 innings in 7 games, collecting 7 saves, 19 K’s and pitching to a 1.12 ERA. Congratulations to Pope on his incredible post-season.
The Indians high-powered offense that was so great during the regular season, battled all series to push runs across the plate. Even with a down final series the Swift Current Indians hit .283 as a team for the playoffs led by outfielder Tobias Moreno who batted .448 over 29 at bats. 2016 WMBL MVP Alec Humphreys had himself a fine playoffs hitting .378 with 8 RBI’s in 9 games. Catcher, Bodie Cooper smacked 3 homeruns in the playoffs and drove in 6 Indian runs.
With the Swift Current win on Saturday another WMBL season is in the books. It was another fantastic year of college summer baseball. We have followed the league attendance quite closely this season. Including playoff attendance the WMBL is proud to boast that 249,474 fans came through the gates of WMBL stadiums this season. That is an increase over 52,000 fans from last year, and an increase of over 20% in total league attendance. Thank you to everyone who helped make this 2016 WMBL Season so successful. With the great support this league gets year in a year out from WMBL fans we can already look forward to another great season of WMBL baseball in 2017.
Thank you to everyone who supported the WMBL articles all season by giving them a read!