For the first time in WCL history, multiple contenders are fighting for multiple playoff spots on the final day of the regular season. Both the North and South second-half champions are still undecided as the league wraps its regular season either today, or tomorrow if Corvallis and Wenatchee have to make-up a game that was smoked out earlier in the week at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
Six teams are still in contention for second-half titles, with two playoff spots to be filled.
Last night, Bend was eliminated. But Bellingham, Victoria and Wenatchee are still vying for the North’s remaining playoff berth and Cowlitz and Yakima Valley are doing the same in the South. Corvallis earned a berth by winning the first-half South title.
Sunday’s games will go a long way in deciding how things shake out. There are several playoff scenarios. Below is a look at all the different possibilities.
In the North:
If the Bellingham Bells beat Wenatchee this afternoon at Joe Martin Field and the Victoria HarbourCats beat Port Angeles at Civic Field, Victoria wins the second-half and advances to play Kelowna in the WCL North Divisional Series.
If Bellingham beats Wenatchee and Victoria loses to the Lefties, Wenatchee will host a makeup game tomorrow vs. Corvallis. If Wenatchee wins its makeup game, Bellingham owns the three-way tie-breaker with the Sox and HarbourCats and would capture the second-half North title. If Wenatchee loses its make-up game with the Knights, Victoria owns the tie-breaker advantage with the Bells as they have posted a better in division second-half winning percentage by the slimmest of margins, .571 vs. Bellingham’s .555.
If Victoria loses to Port Angeles this afternoon, and Wenatchee were to beat Bellingham tonight, Wenatchee would claim the North second-half title and advance to play Kelowna.
If Wenatchee beats Bellingham and Victoria beats Port Angeles, Wenatchee would host Corvallis in a make-up game on Monday. If Wenatchee beats Corvallis, the Sox win the second-half; if they lose, Victoria captures the North second-half title.
In the South:
If Corvallis beats Yakima Valley this evening at Goss Stadium, Corvallis clinches the second-half title with a 16-10 record. The Knights would win the South second-half title regardless of the outcome of a make-up game against Wenatchee, either outright, or by owning the division record tie-breaker against Cowlitz (if both teams finish tied for first at 16-11). The Pippins (15-12, 28-26) secure the second South playoff berth with the second best overall record in the division. The best Cowlitz or Bend can finish overall is 27-27.
If Yakima Valley beats the Knights, and Cowlitz beats Bend at Vince Genna Stadium tonight, Corvallis must play Wenatchee in a make-up game at Paul Thomas Sr. Field tomorrow night. If Corvallis were to lose to Wenatchee in its make-up game, Cowlitz and Yakima would tie for first at 16-11, and Cowlitz captures the South second-half title because they own the tie-breaker with Yakima based on winning percentage in division in the second half (.583 vs. .466). If Corvallis were to beat Wenatchee in Monday’s make-up, Yakima would claim the final South playoff berth and advance to play the Knights in the WCL South Divisional Series, as Corvallis, Cowlitz and Yakima would be knotted in a three-way tie at 16-11, and Corvallis would own the three-way tie-breaker with Cowlitz and Yakima.
If Yakima Valley were to beat Corvallis, and Bend were to beat Cowlitz, Yakima Valley could capture the South second-half title if Corvallis lost its possible make-up game with Wenatchee or if the game were not played by finishing a 1/2 game ahead of the Knights in the final second-half standings.
Make sure to stay tuned to the WCL scoreboard and standing page to follow this summer’s exciting races.
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.