Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seals back in playoff contention

On Thursday morning, the Calgary Vipers had a commanding six-game lead on the Victoria Seals for the North Division second-half title and they appeared to be pulling away from the pack after having reeled off 11 wins in their previous 12 games. What a difference four days make. The Seals now find themselves only three games back of the division-leading Vipers after taking three games from the inexperienced St. George Roadrunners and receiving some much-needed help from the Edmonton Capitals.

Henry Calderon hit three homers this weekend
Victoria completed their series sweep over St. George by shellacking the Roadrunners 18-5 on Sunday. Henry Calderon had a pair of homers and five RBIs, while Matt Kavanaugh also went yard and knocked in five runs. The Seals outscored their over-matched opponents 30-10 this weekend at Royal Athletic Park.

Meanwhile, the Capitals have taken four of five games against the Vipers since Thursday night, including a 13-inning thriller on Sunday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader. Calgary blew a 5-0 lead in that first game, but salvaged a split in the twin-bill by taking the nightcap 8-5.

The Seals are off until Thursday night when they start a crucial four-game set against Calgary at Foothills Stadium. Game six of the GBL's version of the Battle of Alberta goes Monday night, so Victoria will enter the Calgary series either 2.5 or 3.5 games behind the Snakes. That means that the Seals need to take at least three out of four against the Vipers to have a real shot at making the playoffs.

After the big showdown in Calgary, the Seals play three games in Edmonton and then they return home to finish the season with a four-game series against those same Capitals on September 3rd through 6th. Although the season technically ends on September 6th, the Seals really need to catch the Vipers by the end of their Alberta trip because Calgary has the luxury of playing the last four games of the season against the hapless Tijuana Cimarrones. Tijuana has a pathetic 3-25 record in the second half, so it would be a huge surprise if they managed to take even one game from the Vipers. On the plus side for the Seals, Calgary has to play the last seven games of the season on the road, including three against the tough Chico Outlaws.

This could end up to be a wild ride the rest of the way if the Seals can rise to the occasion. On Monday night, you can be sure that the Seals and their loyal legion of fans will be cheering for the Edmonton Capitals as they take on the Vipers. You can listen to the final game in the Battle of Alberta by tuning in here starting at 6 PM PST.