Tuesday night – in four locations ranging from Oregon and Washington to British Columbia – the West Coast League’s playoffs open with four Divisional Series games, the first in what promise to be a quartet of exciting series featuring the eight best teams in one of North America’s premier collegiate summer baseball leagues.
For the second year, the WCL’s postseason includes eight teams, with four from both the North and South Divisions. In this first round, the No. 3 and 4 seeds in each division host the series openers, with the higher seeds hosting the second and (potential) third games in the best-of-three series.
In the South, the Ridgefield Raptors won the season’s first half and are matched against the Portland Pickles in the first round for a second straight year. The Corvallis Knights, defending WCL champions aiming for their seventh straight title, surged to the second-half crown and will face the Cowlitz Black Bears in the first round. This marks the Bears’ first postseason appearance since 2012.
In the North, the Kelowna Falcons host the Bellingham Bells, who finished atop the first-half standings, while the Wenatchee AppleSox host the second-half champion Victoria HarbourCats, who finished with a 38-15 overall record, tops in the division. What’s more, the HarbourCats just set a league record by finishing an incredible 25-2 at home, where the series resumes Wednesday.
After the best-of-three divisional playoffs, both the division and league championships will consist of just one game, with the host team in each game determined by the higher full-season winning percentage.
“It’s great to see original members Kelowna and Wenatchee back in the playoffs,” said Commissioner Rob Neyer, “especially with their great fans guaranteed at least one home game. When we introduced the new postseason format last year, all we knew for sure was that we didn’t know anything for sure. But now we know that eight teams belong in the playoffs, and everyone’s in for a tremendous ride over this next week.”
Following Tuesday night’s series openers, all four series will shift to the first- and second-half winners’ stadiums for second and (if necessary) third games in the best-of-three format. Winners of the Divisional Series then face off in single Division Championship Games, with the two winners then meeting in the WCL’s Championship Game, tentatively scheduled for next Monday night.
About the West Coast League: The West Coast League is the West’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Encompassing Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and now Alberta, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major collegiate conferences around the nation. Every summer, the League features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with North America’s best baseball weather and a mix of classic and modern ballparks, all backdropped by the sport’s most stunning scenery. The 2019 MLB amateur draft began with former Corvallis Knight Adley Rutschman selected with the overall No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Orioles, and the 2022 draft featured two West Coast League alumni, Brooks Lee and Gabriel Hughes, among the first 10 picks.