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Previewing the 2015 season

NEW CARLISLE - The ninth season of the ORWBL is approaching quickly, as Opening Day is

scheduled for its earliest date (May 17) in league history. While the league schedule has been reduced 24 games, there will be no reduction in compelling matchups and storyline this season. Love them or hate them, any season preview has to start with the two-time defending World Series Champions. The New Carlisle Newts enter 2015 with a target square on their backs. With the departure of their ace, Matt Serge, the Bray Street Bombers will have to rely on the offensive firepower from the likes of veteran Garrett Curless and young superstar Noah Shail. New Carlisle still has quite a bit of depth, but they need to be able to get their top lineup on the field as much as possible. Speaking of depth, the Cult West Warriors look to be the top challenger for the title. This squad was loaded in 2014, after adding a host of Muffs to the roster (with the exception of Seth Shail, who is a mainstay in the Newts lineup). The Warriors have the league's best player in Scott Soos, who puts them right in the middle of championship contention. They've been eliminated by the Newts in each of the previous two postseasons, but the head-to-head series between the teams is almost dead even over the past two years. If any team knows about playing close matchups with the Newts, it's Emery's Army. Serge has joined the renegade squad from Rolling Prairie. He'll help not only on the field, but also in the clubhouse. Serge's presence will almost guarantee Jake Lawrence will be able to round up enough guys to get to the ballpark each week. EA will be a tough out in the postseason for anybody, especially the defending champions. The Maple City Magic sit on the edge of contention after last season's disappointment. The Magic were primed for a title run following a 2013 World Series appearance. However, Maple City took a step back in league play and were eliminated early by a Pterodactyls team that only won seven games in the regular season. The 'Dactyls, along with the Heat and Soggy Bottom Boys, will all try to find their way to the top half of the league in 2015. Both expansions franchises are wild cards, as nobody really knows what to expect out of the Bombers and White Lightning. History is not on their side, as the previous two expansions franchises (Rebels, Heat) in the league have combined for eight wins in their inaugural seasons.


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