Dixie League Playoff Race Tightens

DIXIE LEAGUE – As expected, The Dixie League standings found a way to tighten in the Eastern and Western League races after a weekend that saw several teams fall short of a sweep and several teams that got right back into the mix.  With three weeks remaining in the regular season, teams have no more room for error.

The Eastern League leader Hinesville Warrior, who had a game and a half lead over newcomer Lakeland Raiders, and a 2 game lead over defending Dixie League Champion Sanford Celeryfeds, split their doubleheader series with the Orlando Crush 7-3, but came up short against the Celeryfeds 12-7, which moved the Lakeland Raiders to within one half game of the top.  After the Sanford win, the defending champions are now only 1 game back with 3 weeks left before the playoffs start.

Westfield, who took down the surging Andalusia Arrows 10-9, were unable to complete the sweep, falling to the New Orleans Black Hats 11-10, and now sit in fourth, 3 games behind Hinesville. The Orlando Crush who at one point in the season was tied with the Hinesville Warrior for first place has fallen on hard times the last few weeks and was only able to muster 3 runs this weekend and were downed by Hinesville and his younger brother, manager of the Lakeland Raiders by identical scores of 7-3, leaving the Crush 4.5 games back in the East.

The Western League sees the Andalusia Arrows, after several strong weekends, maintain their lead over newcomer Austin Bulls by 1 full game even after the Arrows split their weekend series, losing to the Westfield Bombers 10-9 but taking down the Kokomo Kings 9-7.  Kokomo, who had a stranglehold on the league early on, has slipped a little the past few weeks and now sits 1.5 games back of the Alabama Archers and tied with the San Angelo Wolverines for third. A doubleheader sweep by the New Orleans Black Hats have them moving forward, now 5 games back but still not eliminated from the playoffs.

Statistically the Western League leads in most categories including, winning percentage and best record in the Dixie League with the Andalusia team at 9-5-2, followed closely by Hinesville at 9-6-1. In the Runs ( Total Points) category, the Kokomo Kings have a stranglehold with 89 runs, followed by Sanford and Lakeland with 84 and 83 respectfully. Homeruns ( TD’s scored) has Kokomo leading the charge with 39 followed closely by San Angelo and Andalusia, and 3 teams with 3 doubler header sweeps this season Hinesville, Sanford and Andalusia.

Week 9 could see more movement as the League moves closer to the playoffs, with several key cross division games. We will see who can maintain the pressure to stay in the hunt to be the top 2 teams in each league and move into the playoff hunt as the season gets closer to an exciting end.