September 12, 2022
Gastonia clinched the outright second half South Division title when Reece Hampton’s double produced a walk-off win over the Lexington Legends on Sunday, September 11. The Honey hunters are now 39-21 on the year with six games remaining. Lexington is 30-29 with seven games left to play.
With Gastonia’s win, the Atlantic League will have a Wild Card entry into the playoffs. High Point currently leads the Wild Card race by a half-game over Lancaster. The Rockers are 69-57 and the Barnstormers check in at 68-57. High Point has six games remaining while the ‘Stormers will play seven games this week.
Lancaster also holds the North Division second half lead over Southern Maryland. The 39-20 Barnstormers hold a six-game lead over Southern Maryland (33-26) and both clubs have seven games remaining. Lancaster’s magic number is one in order to clinch the North title. One Lancaster win or one Southern Maryland loss would give the Barnstormers no worse than a tie for the North title. And because Southern Maryland won the first half pennant, Lancaster would gain a playoff berth in the event of a tie.
If Lancaster wins the North, that leaves High Point and Kentucky as the top contenders for the Wild Card spot. The Rockers (69-57) have a 5.5-game lead over Kentucky (63-62) for their full season records. High Point’s magic number to clinch the Wild Card is two. High Point has six games left to play while the Genomes will play seven contests in the final week of the regular season.
Lancaster will host York in the mid-week series then entertain Southern Maryland on the weekend. High Point is at home with Gastonia mid-week and finishes the regular season at York on the weekend. Kentucky visits Staten Island then finishes the regular season at home with Lexington.
What Is The Wild Card?: The Wild Card team is the ALPB club not already in the playoffs that has posted the best full-season record. Southern Maryland has secured a playoff spot by winning the North Division first half race while Gastonia won both halves of the South Division. Gastonia’s sweep of the South Division necessitates the entry of a Wild Card team to the playoffs.
Playoff Schedule: Gastonia will open the South Division Championship Series at home on Tuesday, September 20 and Wednesday, September 21. Southern Maryland will play the first two games of the North Division Championship Series on the road and then return home for game 3 and possibly games 4 and 5 starting on Friday, September 23.
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