In a division where all four teams were separated by less than 2 games it was going to be anyone’s call on the outcome. The Bombers met the Cardinals in the first of the Robinson semi finals and prevailed, with yet again a flurry of hits as they had done in the second half of the season. The other Robinson series featured the Cubs, coming off their best season ever, and Dodgers who in 2019 were runner up in the season and playoffs. After a decisive first game going to the Dodgers, game 2 was a close game in which the Cubs tried to even things out. Ultimately the Dodgers played sharp defence and their pitching strength came through in a 6-3 victory. In the finals, the Dodgers would host the Bombers in game 1. In a match that went back and forth along with some playoff flavoured chirping the teams found themselves playing extra innings. After an easy three up and three down top of the 8th, the Dodgers were at bat in the bottom of the inning and scored on a 2 out ground ball that was thrown home instead of at first. Game 2 featured again a game in which momentum shifted a few times. The Dodgers managed to hold off the Bombers’ big bats and built a 3 run lead late in the game, but a 3rd hit batter forced the young starter Anthony Porporino off the mound. This was a crucial momentum shift and the Bombers managed a dramatic comeback to push the series to the limit. 48 hours later on a beautiful but cool evening at Benevoles the biggest game of the season was awaited by the biggest crowd since Bill Lee dropped by in July 2019. Stands on both sides of the field were nearly filled to capacity, with several more catching the action standing behind the plate and along the fences. Dodgers ace and league leader in strike outs, Anthony Porporino, started on 2 days rest while the Bombers sent their pitching workhorse Tristan D’Silva to the mound. Two young pitchers, two different styles, but a common objective and both looked cool doing what they did best for their team all season. The teams exchanged a few runs early on but managed to stay away from the big inning. The Bombers were ahead 4-3 after 4 innings and whispers were already heard about potential extra innings. Things began unfolding in the 5th as the Bombers scored 4 runs on a couple of hits and miscues. The Dodgers retaliated promptly in the bottom of the inning with 3 of their own but the 4th run was thrown out at home on a strong throw from centre field. The Dodgers scored a run to make it 8-7 in the bottom of the 6th, but the Bombers again opened the gap in the top of the 7th with 4 more runs and a 12-7 lead. The Dodgers did get to Tyler Havlena in the bottom of the 7th, but not enough to overcome the deficit, and the Bombers won their first championship in their 3rd year at LSB.
The Clemente Divisional playoffs began with the Geese and Braves enjoying a by in virtue of their finish as first and second during the regular season. The 3rd place Orioles met the Padres in one of the series, with two very different styles facing each other. The Orioles’ sharp defence and pitching was facing an offensive line-up that could erupt at any time, and it certainly did early in the encounter. The Padres jumped all over the O’s for a 7-0 lead. The Orioles slowly nibbled away at the lead and tied the score in the 5th. The visiting Padres were not done offensively however and went ahead 11-9, headed to the bottom of the 7th and a potential first game upset. But once again, the Orioles poked away and scored 3 to take game one after nearly 3 hours of battle. Game two began the same way the first one ended, with a bunch or runs. After 4 innings the Padres held a 7-6 lead, and were hopeful to force a third game. The next two innings resulted in a flurry of runs, and at the end the Padres left the tying runs on base for a 15-13 Orioles win.
The other match up had the Royals and House of David, with game 1 resulting in a pitching dual. D. Golfman scattered 5 hits for a 5-2 win over J Solomon. With HoD declaring forfeit for game 2 the series went ahead to a decisive rubber match on a cool and damp evening. A battle of lefties between Solomon and Dusseault resulted in a few lead changes, until the Royals trailing 7-6 faced closer V. Rizzolo in the 7th and scraped a couple of runs after which they held on for an 8-7 victory and a meeting with the Geese.
With more than a week off, the Geese sent Kyle Hazel to the mound in game 1 against D Panasuk for the Royals who took a hard line drive in the stomach in the first inning but still managed to stick around for a complete game. The Geese won the game 6-0 outhitting the Royals 8-1. Game 2 was a similar outcome in which the Royals did come up with fine defensive plays, but a 3 run home run by M. Majeur to left center field was all the Geese needed. The game featured 58 year old Garry Vertolli getting one of the Royals 3 hits and making a stellar defensive play at second. The other semi also turned out to be a 2 game affair with the Braves prevailing over the Orioles. J. Sangiovanni was in fine form for game 1 helping his team to a 7-2 victory. Justin Lyman was also very sharp in game 2, with the Braves playing small ball while taking advantage a few miscues on defence for an 8-2 win and a trip to the final.
Game 1 of the Clemente Division Final on Sunday September 20 saw J Sangiovanni facing E Lalonde. The Braves were the only team to defeat the Geese during the regular season, and a win in game 1 would not exactly qualify as an upset. The Geese used their speed early on to put pressure on the Braves defence and by the top of the 5th inning led 11-0. The Braves came to bat facing a potential mercy situation, but managed to do something that had only happened once this season, that is to score 5 runs against the Geese in an inning and making it an 11-5 game. Each team exchanged a run in their next at bats, but in the bottom of the 6th the Geese put 4 more on the board and walked away with a 16-6 victory. Game two on September 22 coincided with Provincial authorities declaring a “Code Orange” in the greater Montreal area. Justin Lyman who put together a fine season as a starter faced M Majeur who 6 days earlier sent the Royals packing on a 3 hitter. The Geese scraped a few runs early but the Braves made key plays on defence to stay within striking distance after 4 innings, with a 4-1 Geese lead. The fifth and sixth innings saw the Geese adjusting their swings and putting a bunch of runs on the board, with the game ending 11-1 for the new Clemente Division champions.