Last year’s storyline was the cup coming back to Camrose County. This year, the cup stays, and for the first time in more than 10 years, the PBL sees a rematch from the previous season. And just like then, it’s in Camrose County.
2004 and 2005 was a funny time in the league. Metal bats and the long ball ruled the day, but that series in 2004 was remembered for its pitching. After the Colts crushed Armena in a neutral site game in Ohaton, the next two games were memorable as Scott Peterson and Joel Boettger teamed up for the Axemen and Jeff MacDonald remarkably went all 14 innings in a span of three days for the Colts. Despite McDonald only giving up four earned runs in those 14 innings, the Axemen won 3-2 and 4-2 to win the series. The following season, the Colts ran away with it in two straight games.
I only mention all this because after last year’s odd ending to the final, it’s only fitting we’re due for a better, more memorable finale. It’s also worthy to note the battle it now takes to get to the final compared to 2004 and 2005 and how the two teams in the final this year don’t have the same hate on for each other that the two teams in the past did.
The Royals and A’s tied at 9-5 and split the season series. Half the teams went to Goodfish Lake and won the whole thing together.
Rosalind is hungry, has adjusted to the twice-a-week schedule and is poised to finally break through. Armena went through a reset last year losing young veterans Adam Johnson and Zenan Sherbaniuk who played key parts in the past. Somehow, despite setbacks throughout the season, both teams took different paths that are completely flipped from last year.
The Royals, who looked good in game one got behind dearly in games two and three and then mounted comebacks to squeak by the Beaumont Angels in hotly contested games. The A’s meanwhile had solid efforts and swept the first-place Ryley Rebels. They are rested up – though in a tournament this weekend – while the Royals are more drained on pitching.
With four days in between starts, the Royals should be ready. The question comes on Thursday, especially if Rosalind can take game one or get out to hot starts. They don’t seem like a team who blows four- or five-run leads once they get them.
Rosalind took a little dig at Armena at the Rosalind tournament saying they “take the league too seriously.” At the end of the day, however, we’ll always remember who won the PBL in 20XX. Not so much the Tofield Sodbuster circa 1995. Well maybe Goodfish.
At any rate, Rosalind gets a chance to celebrate both this year. And they also get one more chance to overcome that huge hurdle that’s a league final of which they have now made eight of them in a row. Eight. In two different leagues. They’ve won two of them.
Game one Tuesday. Let’s go!