Coming off a 29-11 regular season campaign, the Bethesda Big Train players are looking to win the Cal Ripken League title for the fourth time in seven years. Photo Credit: Lisa A. Kammerman/BigTrainPhotos
With the regular season officially in the books, it’s now time to turn to the playoffs for the 2015 Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. First, let’s briefly overview each of the six playoff teams and how each will be seeded.
The Bethesda Big Train locked up a #1 seed with the victory over the Herndon Braves Thursday night that clinched them the regular season title. The #2 seed will go to the Baltimore Redbirds, the North Division champions. Seeds 3 and 4 will go to the second place teams in each division. With the loss to the Rockville Express Friday night, the North Division second place Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts will settle for the #4 seed, and the South Division second place Vienna River Dogs will take the #3 seed. The red-hot D.C. Grays, winners of seven of their last ten, attain the #6 seed. After dwelling in the cellar of the South Division for most of the season and appearing to be out of contention, the Grays turned it up big time in the final two weeks of regular season play to earn the second and final wild card. A clutch extra-inning road victory by the FCA Herndon Braves over the Vienna River Dogs Friday night gave the Braves the #5 seed, the first wild card. The Braves faced elimination had they lost to Vienna Friday, as it would have been the Alexandria Aces, fresh off a victory over the Bethesda Big Train Friday night, taking the playoff spot instead.
In a nutshell:
#1 seed: Bethesda Big Train
#2 seed: Baltimore Redbirds
#3 seed: Vienna River Dogs
#4 seed: Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts
#5 seed: FCA Herndon Braves
#6 seed: D.C. Grays
Playoff action begins this Sunday July 26th, with the #4 seed Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts taking on the #5 seed FCA Herndon Braves at Blair Stadium at 6PM in a single-elimination bout. Across the Potomac, the #3 seed Vienna River Dogs square off against the #6 seed D.C. Grays at James Madison High School at 7PM, another single-elimination contest.
From the above single-elimination games, two teams will emerge victorious. The higher seeded and lower seeded of these two teams will take on the #2 seed Baltimore Redbirds and #1 seed Bethesda Big Train, respectively, in three-game semifinal series that begin Monday, July 27th with Game 2s on Tuesday, July 28th and Game 3s (if necessary) on Wednesday, July 29th. Game 1s will be road games for the Redbirds and Big Train. Games 2 and 3 will be home games for the Redbirds and Big Train.
In the event of any rainouts prior to the championship series, Thursday, July 30th will serve as a make-up date for rained out single-elimination and semifinal games.
From these three-game semifinal series, two teams will emerge as finalists in the three-game championship series that begins on Friday, July 31st with Game 2 on Saturday, August 1st and Game 3 (if necessary) on Sunday, August 2nd. The higher seeded team in this championship series will play Game 1 on the road and Games 2 and 3 at home.
Unless otherwise announced, all playoff games will begin at 7PM, with the exception of those at Povich Field, which will begin at 7:30PM.