Rebels Look To Climb Out of PBL Basement
Posted May 21, 2012
Next week the Rebels will look to do something they did not expect to do in the 2012 season, climb out of the Powerline Baseball League basement. The Rebels will take on the surprising Armena Royals on Tuesday night in Ryley and then the 2-2 Holden Blue Jays at the Ryley Sports Grounds on Thursday night. Two wins would propel the Rebels ahead of the Holden Blue Jays, who only play once next week and potentially the Camrose Roadrunners should they lose to the Bardo Athletics on Thursday night.
Since re-joining the PBL in 2009 after a lengthy hiatus, the Ryley Rebels have an 8-2 record versus the Royals (7-2 in PBL play) and are on a current 8 game win streak versus the Armena franchise after losing the first two meetings in 2009. The Rebels have outscored the Royals by a score of 85 – 47 (+38) since 2009 and even managed two convincing wins versus the Royals in 2011 with Joey Auto being inserted into the lineup.
2012 however has proved to be a beacon of hope for the Armena franchise early in the season, which since the Axemen left in 2008, the franchise has fallen into a slow rebuilding phase which has kept them out of the PBL Playoffs since the 2007 season (when they lost to the previous Camrose Roadrunner franchise in the PBL Championship). The Royals are currently leading the PBL with a total of 36 runs scored through 4 games, averaging 9 runs per game. Should this incredible pace keep up, they would be looking at 135 runs scored on the season. With scoring up in the PBL in the early portion of the season, the Royals have coughed up a total of 25 runs which ties them for the most runs allowed, along with the Holden Blue Jays.
It is a recipe that the Rebels might just need to get back on track and push towards the PBL Playoffs and another PBL title run come July. After suffering an embarrassing 8-1 loss to Bardo Athletics on opening day and a forfeit due to lack of players vs Leduc, the Rebels pulled it all together to beat the Leduc Milleteers on the road 6-1 on May 15. Two teams that are struggling to stop runs from scoring, might give the Rebels bats more life and confidence. Or a streaky Rebels offence that will help right the ship for the Royals and Jays pitching staff by falling back into an offensive funk. Either way they are two very important games in the young season which might go a long way in dictating the next two months for the Rebels.
There is no word yet as to who will get the start for the Rebels next week, but the entire pitching staff will be well rested with 7 days off. RHP Craig Koughan, RHP Don Oslund and RHP Corey Epp are all available for the Rebels to try and shut down the Royals and the Jays. Koughan has pitched extremely well so far in 2012 with great outings against the Bardo Athletics and the Leduc Milleteers while Epp will look to get back on track after a rough beginning to the season versus the Athletics. Oslund will be looking to make his first Rebels appearance in over a decade as the veteran fireballer continues his 30+ year PBL career.
Both home games are being held at the Ryley Sports Grounds with the first pitch set for 7:00pm for both.