South Bend, Granger In Control of Top Seeds Heading Into Final Week
The 16th season of ORWBL is marching towards a conclusion as we head into the final week of the 2022 regular season. Let's take a look at all 18 teams and where they stand along with the playoff clinching scenarios for each team.
Granger Panthers (22-5)
The defending champs are winners of 9 straight after sweeping the New Carlisle Newts this past Sunday. Granger has received stellar play from former MVP Alex Zarazee as he figures to be one of the frontrunners to win the NL MVP this year. The entire Panther starting lineup has hit at least 30+ HR's as Granger really responded well from a tough start to the year at the plate.
The Panthers have also allowed the fewest amount of runs in ORWBL as runs have been hard to come by against them all season long. Granger can lock up the top spot in the National League with one win on Sunday as they would clinch their 6th consecutive National League regular season title. They will close out their regular season schedule against the Glen Lee Skeeters who are hoping to reach the .500 mark.
Twin Branch Billy Goats (19-8)
After back to back seasons under .500, the Billy Goats are back playing like the World Series threat they once were just a few short seasons ago. They are the only team in the league to have series wins over both the Panthers and Magic. With one win on Sunday, they will lock up the #2 seed in the National League.
Offseason acquisition Tony Koch has put together a fantastic second half of the season as he has worked his way up the ORWBL Batting Average Leaderboard. The veteran presence of Koch and Lawrence has been key for this team all season long as they head into the postseason hoping to win their first pennant. They have held their own without their star Lucas Oletti as they hope to have him back for the playoffs. As long as Twin Branch is able to take 1 game from Mishawaka in Week 10, they will be the #2 seed.
Mishawaka Meatspins (17-10)
The Meatspins are gaining momentum at the right time as it looks like this group of veterans is starting to play their best ball heading into the playoffs. Mishawaka's Week 8 sweep of the Skeeters essentially locked the Meatspins into the #3 seed. If they are able to sweep the Goats this weekend, they would move up to the 2nd slot.
2021 NL Cy Young winner Anthony Rieff has put together another great year on the bump as he holds a 12-8 record while also boasting an ERA under 5.00. Rieff is also tied for the team lead in HR as he has been the catalyst on both sides of the ball. Offseason acquisition Austin Traxler has fit in perfectly as he is tied with Rieff with 27 HR. All in all, this group heads into the postseason as a major World Series threat as they would love to get some revenge on Granger after they lost in the ALCS last year, three games to one.
Glen Lee Skeeters (14-13)
The Skeeters are currently in the midst of their toughest part of the schedule as they had matchups against the Goats, Meatspins, and Panthers in 3 of the last 4 weeks of the season. Glen Lee is currently 1-5 in those games as they would love to end the season strong against Granger and pick up some momentum in doing so.
Regardless of how they fare against Granger, it is safe to say it has been a successful regular season for the 2nd year team. They continue to make strides and hang with the best of the best. They would love to reach the .500 mark but will have their work cut out for them against Granger. In order to get the #4 seed and host a home playoff series, Glen Lee just needs to win one game or hope the Newts lose a game. Unless some craziness happens in the final week, it looks like Glen Lee and New Carlisle will get that first round matchup that they had both been hoping for.
New Carlisle Newts (12-15)
It has been an interesting season over in New Carlisle as the Newts have currently outscored their opponents by a combined 81 runs. Despite that, the Newts head into the final week of the season with a 12-15 record while holding down the #5 seed in the NL. Although the standings don't reflect it, the Newts have actually put together a pretty solid season especially considering all of the tough hitting conditions at Migley. They have allowed the 2nd fewest amount of runs, only trailing the Panthers.
All of those stats should be a sign that these guys still remain a massive threat to make a World Series run. They have a lot of options on the mound and you have to imagine they will have one of their better looking lineups out there come playoff time. New Carlisle's Garrett Curless is putting together another phenomenal season as Mr. Newt has his eyes set on another National League Most Valuable Player Award. Meanwhile Aidan Cotter heads into the final week of the season with the 2nd lowest ERA in the league. New Carlisle will close out their 16th regular season under the lights as they will host the (11-16) Kingsbury Knights on Friday night.
Kingsbury Knights (11-16)
The Kingsbury Knights will close out their inaugural ORWBL season on Friday night as they will travel across town to Migley Field for some Friday night wiffleball under the lights. It should be a nice way to close out what has been a great first season for Kingsbury. They have lost a couple of close ballgames over the past few weeks but they gave the defending champion Panthers all that they could handle a few weeks ago. Despite losing the series to Mill Pond, they were able to outscore them 50-42. Despite being 5 games under .500, the Knights have outscored their opponents by 28 runs as they have proven to be able to hit with the best of the best at different points in the year.
They have had a few of their players make big names for themselves this year but most notably Sam Bull. Bull had his breakout performance on the big stage at the All Star Game as he went 6/7 with 4 HR. He was the catalyst in the NL's Game 2 victory and he did everything he could to try and bring them back in the finale. Another Rookie, Adin Newman has also burst onto the scene in 2022. Newman also played very well in the All Star Game as he was voted in as a starter. Both Bull and Newman appear to be the front runners for Rookie of the Year so we will see how both players close out the season. All in all, this team has been playing with their same lineup for most of the season so this is a tight knit group with loads of experience playing together. This is a team that not a lot of teams want to see come playoff time.
Hudson Lake Heat (10-17)
After a rough 1-11 start to the season, Hudson Lake has since gone 9-6 as they have worked their way out of the play-in game as we head into the final week of the season. They will essentially be playing to avoid the play in game in the final week of the season against the Scottsdale Sluggers. The winner of the series will avoid the play in game so there is a lot riding on this series.
Despite having rough hitting conditions all year long, Hudson Lake has been able to turn things around playing in their first season in the National League. They had Ben McDonald voted in as an All Star starter as he repped Hudson Lake on the National League All Star team. Their ace Doug Benner has put together a great season on the mound as runs have been very hard to come by against the crafty veteran. Hudson Lake has struggled at home while Scottsdale has struggled on the road, so something has to give here in a crucial Week 10 matchup!
Scottsdale Sluggers (10-17)
The Sluggers have stayed true to their team name in their return to ORWBL as they have scored the 5th most runs in the league heading into the final week of the season. They were a different team at home as they finished their home slate with a 7-8 record. They struggled on the road which is where they will be to close out the season against Hudson Lake with seeding implications at stake.
The Sluggers currently have four players with 33 or more HR as Adam Cseh, Connor Mowers, Daniel Schafer, and Nate Marino have been hitting the long ball all season long. These guys have shown that they can hit the ball at an elite level from time to time so if they are able to hold their own on the defensive end, this team could be a tricky team to beat come playoff time. We will see if they are able to pick up a series win to close out the season and avoid the play-in game.
Lynn Street Leprechauns (8-19)
The Leprechauns head into the final week of the season knowing that they will be playing in the 8/9 play in game. Their opponent is still to be determined as they will square off against either Hudson Lake or Scottsdale. They could still move up to the #8 seed with a sweep along with a Sluggers or Heat sweep. It will be their 2nd inter-league matchup of the year as they will take on the Bourissa Hills Wildcards. Bourissa Hills is hoping to secure the 4th seed in the AL so they will have plenty to play for.
Although it has been a tough season for the guys in green, star Leftfielder Levi Miller has put together yet another great season. Miller leads the team in all hitting categories as he knows that he is going to have to play at an elite level for Lynn Street to have some more postseason success. Look for the Leps and Wildcards series to be one of the most fun series of 2022 as The Palace is the place to be on Sunday afternoon.
South Bend Truffle Butter (24-3)
The South Bend Truffle Butter head into the final week of the season with the top record in all of ORWBL at 24-3. They suffered their first and only series loss of the year in Week 8 against the Wiffle Dees before bouncing back in Week 9 with a 3 game sweep at The Barnyard. They can lock up the top seed in the American League with just one win or one loss from Maple City.
It has been a memorable season for South Bend as they are getting major contributions out of their star players. Ryan Galiher leads all of ORWBL in HR, RBI, and Runs as he figures to be one of the frontrunners for American League Most Valuable Player. Walter Griffin III has also put himself in the MVP race as he has been swinging an extremely hot bat here lately. Brandon Terry surpassed 40 HR last week as the former MVP winner is having himself another elite season. Offseason acquisition Josh Trim has excelled in his new role as he has 33 HR. Behind those four, South Bend also has a couple of weapons in Jeremy Ratajczyk, and contact hitting machine Kyle Gagliardi as both players figure to be a key part of South Bend's postseason run. South Bend has excelled in their 2nd year in the league but this season will be remembered by what they are able to do in the postseason. They will close out the regular season campaign with a three game series against OTF who is coming off of a big series win over the Godfathers.
Maple City Magic (22-5)
The Maple City Magic head into the final week of the season needing just 1 win against the Wiffle Dees to lock up the #2 seed in the American League. Wes Ellis put on a show at the All Star Game as he took home MVP honors shortly after Jared Jonkman won his record tying 3rd ORWBL Home run Derby. After dropping 2 of 3 to Twin Branch in Week 8, Maple City rebounded with a 3 game sweep of the Wildcards. Caleb Jonkman has led the way for Maple City as he holds the top batting average in all of ORWBL. Jonkman heads into the final week of the season right in the thick of the MVP race while his brother Jared has already made a strong case for the American League Cy Young Award. Wes Ellis has put together another great season as he needs just 2 HR to join the Jonkman brothers with 40 HR. Magic skipper Alex Friedman is having one of the best years of his career as he ranks in the Top 10 in AVG (.551) and Top 5 in AB/HR (2.78) with 32 HR on the season.
They have also received massive production out of offseason acquisition Jeremy Ross who has made a strong case for American League Most Improved after serving in the marines for the past four years. Ross's 25 HR rank 5th on the team while he has put together a fantastic season on the defensive side, putting his body on the line all season long. ORWBL great Drew Luther has also emerged as one of the top closers in the country as he leads the league with 15 saves. As long as the Magic can get one win against Cityless on Sunday, they will be locked into the #2 seed in the American League come playoff time as Maple City looks to get back on top.
Cityless Wiffle Dees (19-8)
The Wiffle Dees are riding high after they were able to pick up an important series win over the Truffle Butter in Week 8. They followed that up with a dominant sweep over Warren as they will look to eclipse 20 wins in their inaugural campaign. After a collective slow start at the plate, the entire team has really put it together down the stretch. Tyler Shupert has had a fantastic 2nd half of the season as he sits right in the thick of the AL MVP race heading into the final week of the season. Shupert ranks 2nd in HR, AVG, and RBI while ranking 3rd in runs scored. All Star's Kadin Abegg, and JP Kehoe have been a huge part of their success as Abegg has really thrived in his larger role this season. Kehoe played a big part in the American League winning the All star Game as he took a perfect game into the 5th inning of the rubber match while also smacking a pair of homers.
Garrett Ruiz has also had a great 2nd half as he now has 36 HR to go along with a .506 Average. After only playing in 6 of their first 15 games, Kody Webb has since played in 9 games as he will be crucial to their postseason success. The Wiffle Dees appear poised for the #3 seed but if they are able to sweep Maple City to close out the season, they will move on up into the 2nd seed.
Bourissa Hills Wildcards (14-13)
Bourissa Hills will look to put together back to back winning seasons as they can finish the season above .500 by taking 2 out of 3 against the Leps in Week 10. Despite having a lot of uncertainty with their roster from week to week, Bourissa Hills has been able to pick up victories despite being without DJ Hill for the majority of the 2nd half of the season.
All Star Luke Stanisci has been the difference maker for this team on the mound as he continues to show why he is one of the more reliable pitchers in the game. Offseason acquisition Danny Hernandez has proved to be a big addition as he has been a staple in the Wildcards lineup all season long. As long as they are able to get their best guys out there in the playoffs, this is a team who could make a deep run just one year removed from a trip to the ALCS. Look for these guys to do everything they can to make sure that they hold onto the #4 seed in the American League as they hope to host a home playoff series at The Palace on Sunday, July 24th.
Mill Pond Pink Pandas (14-13)
The Pink Pandas have proved to be a great success story here in 2022 as this 2nd year franchise has made a notable leap from last season. They have been playing very well of late as they are in the midst of a 9 game homestand to close out the season. They had their grand opening of The Panda Den a few weeks ago and it was a massive success as they were also able to pick up a sweep for the home fans. All Star's Zach Christy and Andew Karsten have proved to be a great duo for Mill Pond while some other young emerging players like Todd Snyder and Aaron Hogan have also made some big improvements here in year two. Snyder has been a great source of power as he has 27 HR while Hogan has been getting on base at a .516 clip over 126 At Bats.
After their recent hot stretch, they have worked their way on up all the way into the 5th seed and they will have an opportunity to climb to #4 in Week 10 as they will host the Godfathers. If they are able to move into the 4th seed, they would then host a home playoff series on Sunday, July 24th. All in all, Mill Pond heads into the final week of the season with a lot to play for as these guys would love to finish their 2nd season in ORWBL with a winning record. Panda nation will be scoreboard watching on Sunday as they will be rooting on the Leprechauns as they take on the Wildcards at The Palace.
Green Stem Great Lakes Godfathers (12-15)
It has been a season full of ups and downs for Michigan's ORWBL franchise as they had a tough 4-11 start to the season. Green Stem Great Lakes was then able to hit their stride as they had gone 7-2 over the 9 game stretch heading into their Week 9 matchup against OTF. Great Lakes figured they would keep rolling in Week 9 against an OTF squad that had lost 21 straight games. Unfortunately for the Godfathers, their hot streak came to a halt as they dropped 2 out of 3 to Crown Point at a foggy hideout.
Despite the series loss, Green Stem Great Lakes still has to be feeling good about how they have played over the 2nd half of the season. 2021 NL MVP Andy Sieradzki has put the team on his back on multiple occasions this season as he is truly a difference maker for this team. They received strong play out of all of their Clutch Players signings as Tommy Sinkiewicz has blossomed into a very strong option on the mound as he holds the 3rd best ERA in ORWBL. Scott Bartley represented the Godfathers in the All Star Game as he played a role in the American League taking two out of three. They will look to get back on track in Week 10 against the Pink Pandas in what should be a competitive series at The Panda Den with playoff seeding implications on the line.
Flat Rock Cyclones (10-17)
The Cyclones have struggled a bit here of late after a 7-8 start as they appear like they will hold the #7 seed in the American League. Since their 7-8 start, they have since gone 3-9. Luckily, they have done more than enough to avoid the play-in game so they are guaranteed a 3 game playoff series. Despite the slow stretch, Flat Rock will get a prime opportunity to get back on track in Week 10 as they will take on the winless Warren Desparados.
Considering all of the talent they lost over the offseason, if this team is able to finish 13-17 they should feel pretty good about that. This roster is full of guys who waited for their opportunity and it is great to see them all making the most of it all while playing at one of the premier ballparks in the league at The Barnyard. Cyclones fans also enjoyed watching the Home Run Derby as their very own Sam Satoski took down former MVP winner JP Kehoe in the First Round. Look for this group to come out hungry in Week 10 as they will look to finish strong against Warren.
Crown Point OTF (5-22)
OTF is riding high after taking 2 out of 3 from the Godfathers in Week 9. Crown Point was in the midst of a brutal 21 game losing streak so that series win could not have come at a better time. The Godfathers had won 7 out of 9 games heading into the series as not many people thought OTF would come out on top. The series win should really help these guys out as they now have some confidence and momentum heading into the postseason. Reigning American League Rookie of the Year winner Parker Hurtle has put together another strong season as he leads the team in HR (23), RBI (29) and Runs (31). He is also in the midst of a breakout season on the mound as he leads all of ORWBL with a 4.50 ERA heading into the final week of the season. Andrew Ooms was voted in as an All Star as he represented OTF in the All Star Game, making a couple of great plays in the field while helping the AL come out on top for the first time since 2019.
This team had some notable injuries early on but they have continued to battle all season long. Although they have struggled offensively, they have actually played quite well on defense. Crown Point already knows that they will be taking on the Desparados in the play in game so they will head into their Week 10 matchup against South Bend with nothing to lose.
Warren Desparados (0-27)
The first year Warren Desparados head into the final week of the season in search of that elusive first ORWBL victory. It has been a tough season for Warren but they have still had a few chances to pick up some wins in close ballgames. Although they have not been able to get it done, they have been able to give ample playing time to their younger players in hopes of building for the future.
Warren will look to avoid becoming the first winless team since Phat Dong back in the early 2010's. They will get one final opportunity at picking up their first win in Week 10 against the (10-17) Flat Rock Cyclones in a series that will be played at The Barnyard.
Here are the Playoff Clinching Scenarios Heading into the final week of the regular season: