The first regualr season of the SBL has enjoyed a lot of success and it will come to a thrilling culmination this week. Each and every team is still in the playoff race and hungry to establish their footprints on the inaugural SBL championship trophy.
The Solana Beach Cardinals (13-8) lead the south division. SBL all-star Niko Holm (Palomar College) leads the team with a .433 BA. The Cardinals have four games remaining on the docket all of which will be played on the road. They travel to Jackie Robinson Field Tuesday to play the Arroyo Seco Saints. On Thursday, they have a game against the OC Surf and they finish their season Friday with a doubleheader against the Inland Valley Pirates.
The Inland Valley Pirates (10-8) are fresh off a doubleheader sweep of the North-leading Signal Hill Oilers on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates are led by Brennan McKenzie (Cal Poly Pomona), who is hitting .380 on the season and enjoyed his best week to date finishing 6-for-10 with a home run, six RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base just for good measure. Zach Cooper, Nick Cordoba, Landon Marshall and Aaron Torres have all contributed as well, each batting higher than .300. Jake Geck has become a force to be reckoned with logging the most innings of any Pirate pitcher and earned a victory Sunday, while just allowing one run. Aaron Bernal has been a lights out reliever as well. Inland Valley has a grueling final week with seven conference games to be played in five days from Tuesday through Saturday. They face the OC Surf next on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Valencia High School.
The OC Surf (10-9) split a doubleheader with the Arroyo Seco Saints on Sunday. Phil Steering (Hawaii Hilo) won the SBL player of the week with an astound 13-for-20 week at the plate including seven runs scored and six RBI to go along with three homers. Luke Hussung (Concordia) continues to lead the team in batting with a .385 clip. Anthony Sommer (UCSD) has become the ace of the staff with a 2.11 ERA. The Surf play six league games the final week of the season including four against the Pirates, one with the Cardinals and one against the Oilers.
In the north division, the Signal Hill Oilers (10-11) still lead, but just by 0.5 games after strugging to a 2-5 record last week. The Oiler offense has still been on fire as eight players are hitting .300 or better. Bobby Vasquez (Santa Ana College) is hitting an incredible .391. Alex Baez has been electric on the mound all season with a 2.90 ERA and (3-0) record in his 31 innings of work. Signal Hill has four games left: three against the Sliders and one against the Surf.
The Arroyo Seco Saints (9-12) have closed the gap behind not just the Oilers, but the rest of the league in general as they try to work themselves into a playoff spot. Jeremy Conant (Pasadena City College) leads the team in batting average (.333) and RBI (10). Race Gardner (Azusa Pacific) has been the Saints best pitcher with a 3.11 ERA in 17.1 innings of work. The Saints have four remaining games: two against the Sliders, one against the Pirates and one against the Cardinals.
The South Bay Sliders (8-12) have won five of their past seven games to get themselves back in the hunt for a playoff spot, but still have work to do in the final week of the season. Andrew Shults (Grinnell College) has a .361 BA. Jake Sahagian leads the league with 21 RBI. The pitching staff has been instrumental in their recent success as the likes of Scott Savage (1.84 ERA), Walker Marks (1.64 ERA) and Charles Carr (2.31 ERA) have been shutting down the opposition. The Sliders have five league games left: three against the Oilers and two against the Saints, which means they actually control their own destiny to make the playoffs should they win out.
It's certain to be an exciting final week of the season, so be sure not to miss a second of it!