Thursday, July 31, 2014

Playoff Picture....Part 2

Ok, so everything should be set.....for now.....maybe.

Here's what's in store for the SouthWest division this weekend.

Saturday, August 2nd: Round 1

Game 1:
# 7 Waukesha Royals @ # 10 Rome Raiders
I'm guessing the Royals couldn't get Frame Park for this one which is why it is being hosted by the Raiders. Hopefully the Royals still get to be the home team, but Rome gets all the $ from the concessions and the raucous support of the Raider faithful, including the sound machine guy in the booth.

Game 2:
# 8 Dousman Frogs vs. # 9 Ixonia Snappers
After initially bowing out of the playoffs,  the Snappers have decided that they want to give it a go. They will be heading to Dousman where anything is possible with the short porch in left.

Sunday, August 3rd: Round 2

Game 3:
# 1 Burlington Barons vs. Highest Seed Remaining (probably # 8 Dousman Frogs)
The Barons are the clear favorite to advance to the next round in the playoffs, but again, anything can happen in the SouthWest.

Game 4:
# 2 Waterford Rivermen vs. 2nd Highest Seed Remaining (probably # 7 Waukesha Royals)
This game could get interesting. The Royals are a dangerous # 7 seed and if their young pitching can keep the game close, it could get very, very interesting.

Game 5:
# 3 North Prairie Dawgs vs. # 6 Genesee Rebels
The Dawgs won both games against the Rebels this year, but they were each close. Other than the #4 vs #5, this might be the closest game of the playoffs.

Game 6:
#4 East Troy Express vs. #5 Oconomowoc Titans
The Express defeated Burlington on Wednesday night to lock up a home game against the Titans. This promises to be a good game as both teams have the pitching and defense to make it a low-scoring, high intensity affair.


That's all we know as of right now. It seems like the best out of 3 series for the division championship might be off the table, as next weekend may simply have the semifinals on Saturday and the Championship on Sunday.

One thing is for sure: everybody plays this weekend, so it will be a great weekend for baseball in the SouthWest.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Playoff Picture

The playoff picture is finally set. Well, sort of. East Troy still plays Burlington on Wednesday night and the outcome of that game will determine the #4 seed. If East Troy wins, they get the #4 seed. If they lose, they get the #5 seed. All that basically determines is who gets the home game between East Troy and Oconomowoc.

So, here's how the seeds ended up:

#1 Seed : Burlington. With only two losses on the year, one coming from Genesee, they locked in the number one.
#2 Seed: Waterford. They eeked out the #2 seed with a tie breaker win over North Prairie.
#3 Seed: North Prairie. The new look dogs ran their way into a top 3 finish.
#4 & 5 Seeds: East Troy & Oconomowoc. They will play each other, so other than home field advantage, it doesn't really matter.
#6 Seed: Genesee. Playing their best baseball as of late. Look out!
#7 Seed: Waukesha Royals. I think the consensus is that these guys are a sneaky #7.
#8 Seed: Dousman. They can hit, but can they pitch?
#9 Seed: Rome. Young guys = sometimes frustrating baseball.
#10 Seed: Ixonia. And they don't even want to play in the playoffs.

Here are the matchups:

Saturday:
Dousman vs. Rome - Winner plays at Burlington on Sunday
Waukesha vs. Ixonia - Ixonia doesn't want to play even though they voted for everyone making the playoffs. Shady. Waukesha moves on via the BYE to play Waterford

Sunday:
#1 Burlington vs. Winner of #8 Dousman and #9 Rome
#2 Waterford vs. #7 Waukesha
#3 North Prairie vs. #6 Genesee
#4 Oconomowoc vs. #5 East Troy (or vice versa)

Sunday's winners move on to the following weekend which will probably revert to the old format of one game saturday and championship Sunday, however, the situation may still change. Maybe best out of 3 is still on the table. Who knows. Let's play some ball!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Playoffs?

The 2014 regular season has come to an end for the Rebels. The Rebs finished with an overall record of 9-9 and are playing the best baseball of the year right now. The season finished up with a hard fought 5-8 loss at Waterford and a 16-10 victory over Dousman. The bats came to life at the end of the season as the Rebels launched six round trippers in the final two games.

The good news is that the Rebels have made the playoffs by clinching the 6-seed in the SouthWest. The bad news is they still don't know when they will be playing. With the playoff schedule changing more often than Brian Szajna changes his shoes, the Rebels could play Saturday, or it could be Sunday. The one thing that seems to be certain is that they will play at Waterford.

After some early season struggles, the Rebels have proven that they can play with anyone. As long as you have an out, you've got a chance. And the Rebels have at least 27 outs left in them this year.

Stay tuned for playoff schedule.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Final Stretch...

The 2014 season is nearing its finale. The season has proven to be an interesting one for the Rebels, and the story may just be getting started.

As it currently sits, the Rebels are firmly in 6th place after battling back to .500 three wins in a row. At 8-8, the Rebels would just barely escape the Wednesday night scenario that is debuting with this years playoff. Who voted yes on that one? Nobody knows. A Wednesday evening bye is not guaranteed, however, as the Rebels still face off with Waterford (3rd place) and Dousman (7th place). Hypothetically, the Rebels could limp into Saturday with two losses if Dousman loses out as well, but it would be nice to win one or both of the games to potentially steal the 5 seed from the Express if they lose on the final weekend. Either way, the Rebels have made the playoffs. Just how far they go, is yet to be determined. 

The Rebels' first half of the season was a little up and down, with more downs than ups. Flashes of brilliance were just that, flashes, as the Rebels lost a few close games, and a few that weren't so close. After the all-star break, the Rebels seem to have found their stride. Winning four of their last six games, including a victory and an extra inning loss to the top seeded Burlington Barons, have the Rebels playing their best baseball of the season. If everyone shows up, the Rebels can give anyone in the league a run for their money. 

If the season ended today, the Rebels would play at Waterford on Saturday, August 2nd. A win there and again on Sunday would put them into the best of 3 championship round the following weekend. If the Rebels lose out and drop to the 7 seed, they would have to win a Wednesday night game just to make it to the first weekend of the playoffs. While it may be exciting to win three games in five days, I think they'd all prefer to wait until Saturday to start the playoffs. 

Here's a quick run-down of the Rebels players thus far:

- Chris Theisen played in one game, gathered 3 hits, and then took his flowing locks to California to chase the dream of playing professional ball and running a successful YouTube channel. 
- Kyle Stasik is playing a monster 3rd base and hitting above .400 on the year. The self-proclaimed rally killer is quietly having an enormous season for the Rebels. 
- Keith Koehn, all-star phenom, with Aaron Dolanesque communication skills, has been the Rebels workhorse on the mound and in the field. 
- Andy Sturtevant, when not gallavanting around Europe with his wife, shows up occasionally and does not disappoint behind and dish and at the plate. He refuses to listen to pitchers, especially if they are from Burlington and want him to "GET BACK IN THE BOX!"
- Keith McFarlane may be playing in his final season for the Rebels and has come to two, poignant realizations: 1. He can still play baseball. 2. He needs to stop drinking. Here's hoping his convinces his wife to let him come back next year. 
- Nick Heckenkamp has perfected the HR fist pump on his first try. When not dropping bombs on Dousman he has been filling the void where needed. An expert at ducking under strikes, Nick has been doing it all. 
- Matt Bauer has been pissing people off from center, short, and even behind the dish this year. His work with the trainer bat has really paid off as he no longer hits the ball right to the defensive player. 
- Mark Switalski, when not running into base runners while umping park and rec, loves to play mind games with opposing 3rd basemen by showing bunt on every single pitch. Proven to be an excellent relief pitcher and solid outfielder for the Rebels. 
- Aaron Dolan is still showing up for the Rebels and they are glad to have him. He might quietly (i mean silently) be one of the best SS in the division. Keep coming back rev. We need ya!
- Chris Elliott is simply a man. 
- Derek Urban, when not umping, camping, sleeping, eating, playing video games, or just hanging out, shows up occasionally for the Rebels. And when he does, he makes his presence felt. A solid young pitcher who needs to stop scheduling umpire jobs on the weekend, Urban has a solid future for the Rebels. 
- Dave Hellman needs to stop playing softball and punching things. On the PUP list again thanks to a nasty sinking liner in beer league softball. The kids got skills. 
- Mike Hodel swings hard in case he hits it. When he does, it goes far. When he doesn't, well, he doesn't. Hopefully he doesn't get abducted by pirates on his honeymoon. 
- Dominic Nabak is a gazelle in the outfield. If it's in the air, he's going to catch it. The kid doesn't get cheated at the plate either. Little known fact that he is also a master of awkward / sarcastic cheers directed at his fellow teammates. Fits right in!
- Jim Szajna may be in his final season with the Rebels, but his image will live on forever etched on his brothers calf and in the hearts of the Rebs. Still swinging a big stick, Jim's OF presence and innings on the mound will be missed.
- Brian Szajna has found a way to play good defense and calm his nerves when in the field. Having his best defensive season ever for the Rebs.
- Jason Baron has broken into the ranks this year with some solid performances and looks to be a Rebel for years to come.
- Matt DeMarais hasn't had his usual innings on the mound this year, stepping behind the dish for a few games to work with the young arms the Rebels will rely on in the future.
- Joel Meier.......
- Mark Wershay can swing without any pain in his arm. Looking to go out with a bang, Wershay may have a few pinch hit bombs left in him.

Come on out to Genesee on Sunday for the Rebels final home game of the season. 1:30pm first pitch.

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