For the fourth time in five years, we have a new League Champion. In five hard fought games, The Big Bite defeated Milbank. Same teams and same amount of games as the 2017 Finals, but with a different result. It was The Big Bite's first taste of glory in the HKSPSA, having represented Canada for many years under a few different sponsors. Most recently, The Wanch.
The games were filled with some big moments, but there was none bigger than Craig Aitkenhead's diving catch in right center field. On a day with as many fans on the bleachers as any time in recent memory, The Big Bite held off a valiant effort from last year's champs, Milbank.
Heartiest congrats to The Big Bite, finishing first place with a whopping 23 regular season wins, and finishing the job by winning the title.
This March consisted of three hard fought Saturdays of playoff action. We began the month with six teams in the running (Morty's and Outback were eliminated on Feb24) and we ended the month with two. Milbank and The Big Bite are right back where they were last season, squaring off in the Cup Finals.
On March 3rd, #1 The Big Bite swept aside #8 Santa Fe, although Santa Fe kept things interesting with two close contests. #4 Starr eliminated #5 Shore and #6 Morty's, Big Bite won their first semifinal game vs Starr, Brew won theirs versus Milbank and #7 Outback split 1-1 in the first round of the Plate games.
On the 17th, The Big BIte walloped Star 22-5 to reach the Finals. Milbank and Brew House played a doubleheader for the ages, capped off by rookie Ken O'Brien's game-winning double to punch Milbank's ticket to the Finals yet again. Shore defeated Santa Fe to reach the Plate Finals.
On the 24th, the Finals began with a 1-1 split between Milbank and The Big Bite, setting up an epic finale in mid-April. Outback smoked Morty's to reach the Plate Finals, and this is where we stand as the season approaches completion. Best of luck to Milbank and The Big Bite in the grand finale!
This month saw the regular season come to close and the playoffs begin.
After a full slate on the February 3rd, and the final makeup doubleheader on the 10th between Morty's and Brew House, the playoff picture was set. With an impressive 23-5 line, The Big Bite was this year's #1 seed and regular season champ. Milbank completed their remarkable regular season run, going 21-1 in their final 11 doubleheaders, finishing with an overall record of 21-7 and the #2 seed. TBB's Andrew Wallis led the league in hits, while Brew's Rich Granara led in homers with 6. Chris Ivany led just about every pitching category, as The Big Bite's go-to hurler.
After a week break for Chinese New Year, the playoffs began on the 24th. #4 Starr and #5 Shore split their doubleheader, #2 Milbank swept #7 Outback, and #3 Brew House swept #6 Morty's. #8 Santa Fe and #1 Big Bite will begin their playoffs Mar3. As we begin March, six teams remain in the fight for this year's Bollenger Cup.
Congratulations to Brew House's John So and Santa Fe's Karen Morais on the Player of the Week honors for this month. And all 17 of the POTW winners this season! Beer always tastes a bit better when it's a prize :)