Last night Powerline Baseball League fans got a double shot of playoff action with the Rosalind Athletics and Armena Royals starting their series and the Holden Blue Jays wrapping up their series against the Edmonton Expos. The Jays will head to their fifth PBL Championship Series since re-forming the team in 2010, while the A’s and Royals are expected to scrap it out in what should be another exciting game, perhaps two, in their series.
Rosalind Athletics (3), Armena Royals (2) F/8
Rookie of the year candidate Griff Lorenz was giving the game one start by Manager Matt Enright and the youngster from Camrose didn’t disappoint. The hard throwing lefty would pitch all eight innings for the A’s holding the defending champs to five hits while striking out nine. The Royals were able to capitalize on some shaky defence from the Athletics, scoring two unearned runs on the night. For the Royals it was veteran knuckleballer Ian Sherbaniuk getting the game one nod. The right hander would get weak contact all night off the bats of the A’s but the ‘Homer Dome’ could not contain Kobe Charchun and Chase Leslie. Leslie’s eighth inning home run would walk the Royals off and send the series to Armena on Thursday night with the A’s leading 1-0. The Royals have proven in the past that trailing in a best of three series is not as debilitating as it seems. In 2018, their PBL Championship Series started with a Milleteers win in game one and a Milleteers lead for most of game two. The Royals however would hang one, play well and take the series with back to back wins for the hamlet’s sixth PBL Championship.
Game Two – Thursday July 25 in Armena at 7:00pm
Holden Blue Jays (13), Edmonton Expos (5)
The first PBL Playoff game in Vegreville was capped off with a series sweep by the hometown Jays. Veteran second baseman Craig Weder would hit a grand slam to put an exclamation point on the series winning game while Grayson Soporvich and Randall Ziegler pitched. Over two games, and two days, the Holden Blue Jays managed to outscore the Edmonton Expos 25-6 in a dominant series win. Last night was an uphill battle for the Expos who played the game with eight players due to player availability for the road trip. 2019 will be Holden’s fifth trip to the PBL Championship series since the team was re-formed in 2010. However, the Jays have not won a PBL Championship Series since the 1992 Holden Blue Jays defeated the Ryley Rebels 2-1. The Expos on the other hand will have to wait until the 2020 season to get their first playoff win. In 2018 their playoffs came to an abrupt end at the hand of the Holden Blue Jays in the Wild Card Game and this year it was an abrupt 2-0 series sweep by the Jays. The Expos made it one step further in their sophomore season, perhaps in year three they will once again be able to take another step in the right direction.
The 2019 PBL Championship Series has a couple of start date possibilities, depending on what happens in the remaining Armena/Rosalind games, and assuming weather doesn’t play a factor:
– Rosalind wins game two = 2019 PBL Championship Series begins on Tuesday July 30 in Vegreville
– Armena wins game two = 2019 PBL Championship Series begins on Thursday August 1 in Vegreville as game three between the Athletics and Royals is on Tuesday July 30 in Rosalind.