For the most part, the Door County League staved off Mother Nature on Sunday, with only the Kolberg/Baileys Harbor game being postponed. That game will not be made up, however, because it has no effect on the standings for the playoffs or seeding.
With Sister Bay winning Friday night and Washington Island winning another game on a walk-off walk Sunday, that knocked West Jacksonport out of a shot at a home playoff game. West Jacksonport then tied the Islanders for third, and a coin flip decided third place, putting Washington Island in the third seed and West Jacksonport in the fourth seed.
The Swami ended the regular season on a 3-0 note, putting his season record at 45-10.
Let’s take a look at the first round of the playoffs.
West Jacksonport (9-5) @ Kolberg (12-1)
The Ports went from the catbird seat and a chance at second place to losing a doubleheader in the form of the game on the Island and then the coin flip following that game. So now they must travel to Kolberg to play the regular-season champions.
The Ports at times this year played well enough to beat anybody and for the most part did. One team they struggled against was these very Braves, losing two games by scores of 14-3 and 12-5.
The Ports have several players who can hit, and one surprise this year was the addition of Paul Brinney, who was also a needed platoon player.
The Braves got a week off and will be rested to make a playoff run. During many years, the regular-season champions failed to win the playoff title because it isn’t the big prize, and many teams didn’t really care as much. I can tell you that this team does care, and its members want nothing more than to take home both trophies to prove their dominance even more. I would like to think the Ports will give them a better game this time around, but will it be enough to upset the Braves?
Swami says: Braves.
Washington Island (9-5) @ Sister Bay (10-4)
The Bays’ dominance during the past decade has been impressive. They didn’t win the title this year, and they didn’t in 2018 and 2019, but they did finish in second. That makes eight straight DCL seasons when the Bays finished no worse than second during the regular season.
Pitching is the key to any championship run, and the Bays have been blessed. Sam Forkert has been one of the most dominating pitchers during that time, but Matt Hecht has proven he has the same chops. In fact, I would rate his skill set right up there with the top pitchers in the league.
What has surprised me recently is that the Bays haven’t been their normal hitting juggernaut at certain times, and defensive lapses have also reared their head. They cannot afford to have any of that against a spunky Island team.
The Islanders could be dangerous if they could find a consistent starting pitcher every week. Troy Jorgenson last week regained some old form and pitched a shutout for seven innings against a very good-hitting Ports team. In recent weeks, the return of Will Hendrickson has also given the Island staff a pick-me-up. The Island has been a cardiac team of late, winning in the latter stages of games. It did struggle this year against the Bays, losing 6-1 and 10-4.
With Sister Bay being the closest field to the Island, there will be a sea of green up and down the sidelines, and that sea will be loud and raucous. The only way to quiet the crowd early is to have the Bays pitching come out dominating. Although the Islanders have a shot here, the Bays want to prove that they’re still one of the best teams in the league.
Swami says: Bays.
Week 14 Results
Sister Bay 5, Institute 1
Washington Island 3, West Jacksonport 2
Egg Harbor 9, Maplewood 2
Kolberg vs. Baileys Harbor canceled
Final Regular-season Standings
Sister Bay 10-4
Washington Island 9-5
West Jacksonport 9-5
Egg Harbor 5-9
Baileys Harbor 0-13