With this author going 1-1 in the semis, the Rosalind Athletics made good, while the Holden Blue Jays upset the Tofield Lakers in the best-of-three showdown to make their fourth PBL final.
Tuesday, Aug. 1
- Holden at Rosalind
Tuesday, Aug. 3
- Rosalind at Holden
Tuesday, Aug. 8
- Holden at Rosalind (If Necessary)
Both teams know how to make it to championships. Both also know what that feeling in the stomach when they lose. The Rosalind Athletics lost many, many times to the Heisler Cardinals in the Battle River League before making a move to the PBL. They then lost their first championship here as well. The difference is, parts of the group had won one championship in the BRBL and then last year, when it looked like they may blow it again, they pulled off a gutsy 19-inning game-three win versus the Armena Royals for their PBL crown.
Head-to-head this season: Holden 2-0
Blue Jays 12 – Rosalind 9 (July 6 in Rosalind)
Blue Jays 10 – Rosalind 7 (July 18 in Holden)
With the A’s reaching a final for the ninth straight time, they don’t seem to be tiring. They cruised through the semi-final matchup against the retooled Milleteers and look poised for their fourth title in nine tries.
Standing in their way are the Holden Blue Jays. The team is different than those heartbreaking years of losing in the final and missing the playoffs, only to reappear and then lose in the finals again. 2011, 2013 and 2014 the Blue Jays tasted bitterness like no other. Even though they were swept by Leduc during their five-time run, all the games were decided by one run. Then, in the crazy 2014 final, after a crazy series to get there versus Armena, they lost another one-run game in the deciding tilt.
One one side, a team can say they learned through defeat how to become a champion. On the other side, they may be epitomizing it if they can pull it off this year.
The A’s seem rested and ready for a repeat. But something is different with this year’s Holden team. They may have finally recognized their hothead ways were getting in the way. They slayed an experienced squad in the semis after falling behind in the series – something they hadn’t had to deal with much in the past. Ya never know… maybe this is the year.
I’ll believe it when I see it.
With the playoffs roaring into the picture starting for the first time in this author’s memory, just a day after the final regular season game, here’s a look at the series and the schedule:
Thursday, July 20
- Leduc at Rosalind
- Holden at Tofield
Tuesday, July 25
- Rosalind at Leduc
- Tofield at Holden
Thursday, July 27
- Leduc at Rosaind (If Necessary)
- Holden at Tofield (If Necessary)
Leduc (4) vs. Rosalind (1) – Series 2-1 for Rosalind, 6-5; 3-13; 3-13
Well look at that, here come the Milleteers again. This time in an unfamiliar spot in the playoffs as a full-fledged underdog.After winning the first matchup in Leduc the Milleteers have been blown out against the defending champions. I see no reason why this won’t be the case in this series either. Although the Milleteers have done well to become a playoff team again through rebuilds and acquisition of dispersal draft players, the Rosalind A’s have a little tank left in those aging arms and legs to make a run for their third straight PBL final.
Prediction: Rosalind wins series 2-0. Only chance Milleteers have is they can steal game one and take the old guys to that crazy field by the highway where planes and cars dominate the ambiance.
Holden (3) vs. Tofield (2) – Series 1-1 tie, 7-5; 3-11
The Holden Blue Jays have tricked this author for many years with their stellar defense and young arms, legs and tempers. During the season, the team came unglued, not an uncommon thing for this franchise, and it has cost them at least a couple championships over the years that to me, seemed like destiny. Maybe now that I am discounting them they will finally prove me and everyone else wrong. Here’s some motivation – I doubt it.
Prediction: Tofield wins series 2-1 after Holden takes game one and leads heading into the seventh in game two.