Day 2 – Upsets abound

If Day 1 went mostly according script with the higher ranked teams beating the lower ranked teams in their respective pools, then Day 2 will be remembered for some big upsets and shocking results with potentially terminal ramifications for a pair of highly regarded teams.

Top-ranked California LumberKings dropped a 4-2 decision to the lowest ranked team in their pool, Lloydminster Dodgers. That upset would propel the Dodgers to the top seed in Tuesday’s playoff round, giving them a double bye into the third round of the single-elimination bracket.

The LumberKings would recover to spank Memphis Posse Monday night and claim the #2 seed in Pool A and a first round bye. Memphis finishes #3 in Pool A by virtue of their win over Wyevale Tribe who finish at A4. Wyevale knocked off the Dodgers early in the day, but dropped an 8-5 decision to the Posse in the afternoon.

As shocking as the Dodgers win over the LumberKings, another western Canada team tripped up the defending champions South Lebanon TNT. Bulyea Rustlers threw the standings in Pool B into total disarray with a 3-2 win. That left TNT need a win over Sioux Falls Sox to claim the top seed and the double bye. It wasn’t to be.

Sioux Falls rallied from a 1-0 deficit with a game-tying single in the 6th and won it in the 8th on a game-ending double play with a TNT runner called out at the plate. The loss handed the division title to Bridgeport Braves, who had wins over Sioux Falls and Bulyea Monday, while TNT dropped to the #4 seed. Sioux Falls finishes #2 while Bulyea comes in at #3.

In Pool C, the New York Knights made it look relatively easy, finishing 3-0, but it wasn’t quite the cakewalk that it seemed at first glance. The Knights needed extras to put away Rude Pac and for 6 innings clung to a 1-0 lead over Elora Wellington Brewers before prevailing 3-0.

While the Knights get the double bye, it’s Rude Pac in the #2 spot as they rallied for a late 4-3 win over Elora who finished third. Earl’s Club will look to get their offence untracked in the playoff round as they went 0-3 in pool play.

John Rozich belted another pair of titanic home runs yesterday, giving him 4 for the tournament.

In Pool D, Kitchener Outlaws scored a 1-0 win over CPI, scoring the only run in the first inning and making it stand up. The Outlaws get the top seed with their 3-0 record, while CPI finishes 2nd. Pete’s Blues who edged Salt Lake City Innovative Communications, will be the #3 seed with Salt Lake finishing a hard-luck 0-3 will be #4.

In Pool E, the standings were a little cleaner as Ashland Stockpack, with a 7th inning walk-off win over Winterset A’s claimed the top seed. Palermo Athletics finished second at 2-1. Carp 14C Victory is the #3 seed at 1-2 while Winterset is the #4 seed at 0-3.

In Pool F, Elmira continued their imitation of a Mack truck, crushing the opposition. The Cubs have scored 27 runs and have yet to allow a run. Hoffman Rise, with a 2-1 nailbiter win over Black Gold secured the #2 seed and the first round bye. Black Gold comes in at #3 while The Bar of Appleton will be the #4 seed.

In Pool G, the tie-breaker rules were put to the test as Ottawa Team Easton Thunder, River City Rockers and St. Paul ASB Villard all finished with 2-1 records. Ottawa beat Villard Sunday before dropping a 2-1 decision in the bottom of the 7th to River City on Monday, but River City had earlier lost to Villard 3-1.

By virtue of allowing the fewest runs in the games involving the 3 tied teams, Ottawa finishes first and gets the double bye while the win by Villard over River City gave them the #2 seed. River City will have to play 3 games on Tuesday to advance to the Elite Eight with Kelvington PDC Comets getting the #4 seed.

Waterdown Hammer scored only 6 runs in their 3 pool games, but it was enough to win all of them and finish first in Pool H. The Hammer needed 8 innings to edge Chicago Fastpitch 1-0 while Keating’s Fitness scored 3 late runs to beat Herda & Sons 5-2 and nail down the #2 seed. Chicago finishes third in Pool H with Herda & Sons #4.

Setting up the first round of games on Tuesday morning, the best match-up is B4 vs G3 – TNT vs River City Rockers. Either the defending champions, who have struggled at the plate, or the team with one of the top 3 pitchers in the tournament will be headed home after this one. Wow.

The bottom half of the draw looks to be the toughest with the LumberKings, Ottawa, Elmira, New York and Bridgeport all on that side. Whoever comes out of that dog-fight will be battle tested, but will they have enough left for the finals on Wednesday?

Stick around to see – it’s gonna be great!

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