Playoff Sunday Preview

       The regular season is finally over and Championship Sunday is finally upon us.  It been the year of the Emperors so far as they cruised to a 20 win season, picking up a Memorial Day Championship along the way.  Led by Vido Creales and Anthony Caban, the Emperor offense scored a league high 148 runs.  Their defense wasn’t too shabby either, as they finished with the top ranked defense only allowing 38 runs all season.  
       In second place, the Bronx Royals had one of their best seasons losing just 4 games all season and posting their best ever defensive season.  They were keyed by their spark plug David Hernandez, who posted his best season with 36 hits, and Darnell Byrd, who tied his career high with 37 hits.  
       In third we have the Gold.  The Gold got off to a slow start this year, playing inconsistently from game to game, but found their groove in last third of the season propelling them to third place.  The Gold is a veteran team, and the return of Ed Betances makes this lineup as dangerous as any in the league.  Pito led the way for the Gold with 41 hits and is the key to jump starting this offense. 
       Leland claimed the last home field spot and finished fourth overall.  This years Leland squad  had a let down on the defensive end this year, recording the least amount of points in their 10+ years in the league.  Dave Meerow paced the offense and led the team in hits and runs batted in.  
       Finishing in fifth place was the Jersey City Saints.  The Saints came into the season with high expectations, but they were inconsistent from week to week.  Lenny Saturria led the team with 46 hits and will need him to continue to set the table for the big boppers behind him. 
       In sixth we have the D’Backs.  The D’Backs got off to a great start this season, but a second half swoon kept them from finishing higher.  A late season streak helped them tie their record for wins a season.  Mark Candeleria led the team in hits and average, and they will need him to keep providing a spark if they want to make some noise this weekend.  
       The Ravens finished in 7th place and had their worst season in franchise history.  They didn’t have the season they were looking for, but this team is still capable of making noise. Ed Brunson led the way on offense, and Austin Mercado came into his own this season becoming a nice weapon for this team.  
       Finishing in last place was the new team on the block, the Brew Crew.  Every new team goes through growing pains in their first season, and the Brew Crew was no different.  Frankie Rivera led the Brew Crew offense and they will need his second half surge to continue if they intend on providing a couple of upsets this weekend.
And now the matchups:
Field 1 @ 10 AM- Gold (3)vs D’Backs (6– The Gold took the season series 2-1-1 but the D’Backs have played them tough this season.  The return of Ed Betances to a lineup that already has the likes of Pito, Dusty and Carlitos, makes this team that more dangerous. Josh also had a breakout season for the Gold so the D’Backs will have their hands full.  The D’Backs will need their young bats, led by Mark, Kris, Joey and Martin, to hit and hit often if they want to beat the Gold
Field 2 @ 10 AM- Leland (4) vs Saints (5)– Leland dominated the Saints this season going 4-0 against them.  These are two offenses that can put up crooked numbers.  The Saints will need to keep the bases empty when Dave comes up for Leland as he has been an RBI machine all season.  The same could be said for Leland.  They will need to keep the bases empty when Bambino comes up as he has shown the knack for the big hit.
Field 1 @ 11 AM- Emperors (1) vs Brew Crew (8)–  The Emperors have been on a mission all season, but the Brew Crew stand in their way. Wait what?  Thats right, the Brew Crew has beaten this team twice this season and has shown a knack for rising to the occasion when they play the Emperors.  Vido and Caban have been a lethal combination all year and the Brew Crew defense will have to keep them in check if they have any hope of beating the Emperors a third time.  The Brew Crew will need their vets, Frankie, Russ and Jay, to lead the way if an upset is in the cards.
Field 2 @ 11 AM- Royals (2) vs Raven (7)- The Royals took the season series from the Ravens, but every game they played this season was a nail biter.  The Ravens have been a thorn in the Royals side each time they have played and a very confident they can finally beat the Royals when it counts.  This weekend Al Jr. will be back in the lineup to compliment Brunson and Austin. The Royals have bent against the Ravens, but they haven’t broken.  The Royals will need David and Darnell to keep getting on for the middle of the order to do some damage.