Buzzilinear: PBL Playoff Previews
Posted July 20, 2009
It came down to the wire, but the teams are set and the hot summer weather is here just in time for the 2009 edition of the Powerline Baseball League postseason.
Things kick off Tuesday night in Camrose and Ryley as semi-final matchups pit hated rivals Camrose and Bardo against each other while first-time partners Leduc and Ryley hook up.
The two series couldn’t be any different. Camrose and Bardo are old-time foes that can be offensive juggernauts at times, while Ryley and Leduc are newbies known for their pitching prowesses. Let’s take a look at the series’ previews.
|Camrose swept season series 3-0:
|Tuesday, May 26 – 10-3 for Camrose
|Tuesday, June 9 – 11-2 for Camrose
|Thursday, June 30 – 11-7 for Camrose
All signs point to a Camrose Roadrunners sweep as the Rose City team has six straight wins, a season series sweep against Bardo and the regular season title.
However, Bardo is the defending champions and has more experience. Plus they have Ray Lehman – does he have one more magical fourth-place run under his belt?
No love is lost between these two teams either as both have met in the playoffs the previous two seasons. Expect a lippy series where the umpires could have to intervene. Camrose won a semi-final bout in 2007 enroute to its only championship in the modern era, while Bardo won last year in three tantalizingly offensive affairs for its second title in three seasons. Both series went three games and no one will be surprised to see the rubber match go the distance as well.
Camrose needs to continue their solid hitting and avoid mistakes on the field. Errors can get to this chirpy bunch when the ball is put in play. But they definitely have the pitching to keep opponents off-balance with Ofrim, and the offence to win the high-scoring games if he or Haugen falters. Paul Ofrim showing up would be a wild card up their sleeves.
Bardo got into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. They’ve lost a lot of close games and have admittedly played poorly most of the season. The surprising culprit being a loss of offence and some untimely errors as players came and went on vacations and working have made them seem rusty on most nights. If they can get the offence going and get better defence, the veterans on the hill could pull off an upset.
|Leduc won season series 2-1:
|Wednesday, May 13 – 2-0 for Leduc
|Thursday, May 28 – 3-2 for Ryley
|Wednesday, June 24 – 3-0 for Leduc
Expect some low-scoring affairs as the two teams have combined for just 10 runs in three regular season games.
Both teams are limping into the postseason as Leduc is stumbling to the finish line similar to last season with two straight losses. Ryley meanwhile thwarted a three-game losing streak with an epic 1-1 11-inning tie to end the season in Bardo.
Home advantage could be the difference in this series. Leduc is 7-1 at home while Ryley is 5-3. This compared to paltry records of 3-4 and 2-5-1 respectively on the road. Complicating matters is the opening game being played in Ryley.
If Ryley can take game one, who knows. If they drop game one, it’d be hard to believe Leduc could lose three games in a row at home to end the year. But hey, it’s the Powerline Baseball League – anything can happen.