Sunday’s final day of the West Coast League’s regular-season schedule had a playoff feel to it, as so many teams were in contention for the league’s final two playoff spots. Both key games in the North Division ended in wild walk-offs, as the Bellingham Bells kept their playoff hopes alive with a two-run 9th-inning, and a walk-off win over Wenatchee 5-4 and Port Angeles stunned Victoria with a two-run bottom of the 11th, also a walk-off victory, a 17-16 thriller at Civic Field.
The Bells and Lefties wins eliminated Wenatchee, and set-up a make-up game between Corvallis and Wenatchee at Paul Thomas Sr. Field on Monday, August 7 at 7:05 pm to wrap the league’s regular season.
If Corvallis beats Wenatchee tomorrow, Victoria and Bellingham would tie for first place in the second half; and Victoria would advance to play Kelowna in the WCL Divisional Series based on owning a second half, in division winning percentage tie-breaker with Bellingham. The Bells would advance if the AppleSox beat the Knights, as the Bells own the North’s three-way tie-breaker if Bellingham, Victoria and Wenatchee finish the season deadlocked at 15-12.
In the South, Yakima Valley punched its playoff ticket by losing to Corvallis, as the Knights clinched the second-half with their 7-3 home victory over the Pippins. Yakima Valley posted the next best overall record, at 28-26, in the South to earn its postseason berth. If Corvallis were to lose to Wenatchee in its make-up game tomorrow night and tie for first in the South with Cowlitz at 16-11, Corvallis takes the second-half based on its head-to-head full season record tie-breaker advantage with the Black Bears.
Yakima Valley will host game one of the WCL South Divisional Series at Yakima County Stadium on Tuesday, August 8th at 7:05 pm. Games two and three will move to OSU’s Goss Stadium on Wednesday, August 9th and Thursday, August 10th (if necessary). Both start times are set for 6:40 pm.
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The 13-year-old, 11-team, professionally operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences in addition to the best summer weather in North America. 82 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB 2017 June draft. In 2016, more than 230 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 28 in the major leagues, such as 2015 home-run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), 2015 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (Tampa Bay) and rising star pitchers Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay), Matt Boyd (Detroit) and James Paxton (Seattle); and outfielder Mitch Haniger (Arizona, now Seattle). Overall member attendance was 379,611 in 2016.