The regular season for the WMBL is over, and the playoffs start on Friday, July 31. The Okotoks Dawgs won the West Division pennant with a 32-13 record, and they will host the Moose Jaw Miller Express in the first playoff round. The Swift Current Indians won the Central Division pennant with a 27-13 record, and they will host Yorkton Cardinals in the first round. The Melville Millionaires won the East Division with a 26-14 record, and will host the Regina Red Sox. The other first-round playoff matchup is Medicine Hat Mavericks at Lethbridge Bulls. All series are best-of-five.
The Dawgs got a 10-0 win over the Edmonton Prospects on July 24, before a home crowd of 2,608. Mark Phillips (Colby College), Wally Goodline (Cal State Los Angeles), and Lee Ingram (Thompson Rivers) combined for the shutout. Phillips pitched the first seven innings, gave up three hits, struck out six. Goodline and Ingram pitched hitless innings. Ingram faced four batters; he walked one, and struck out the other three. Travis McBride (Cal State Los Angeles) hit a two-run home run. Jeff Duda (Campbellsville) leads the WMBL with 82 strikeouts. Anthony Cros (Northwest Oklahoma State) leads the Dawgs in hitting with a .393 average, and Dan Britton-Foster (British Columbia) has the team’s best ERA, 1.08.
Swift Current defeated the Millionaires 3-2 (12 innings) on July 26. Bo Lybeck (Lower Columbia College), who was 3-5 for the game, singled in the winning run. Joey Evans (Texas Wesleyan) pitched the last four innings for the Indians, allowed two hits, struck out five. Coty Saranthus (Southwest Mississippi CC) pitched the last 4 1/3 innings for the Millionaires, allowed four hits, struck out four, and got his first loss of the season. However, the best pitching performance of the night may have been by Millionaires starter Jason Chowning (Oklahoma), who went 7 1/3 innings, allowed one earned run on four hits, and struck out 11. The Indians defeated the Millionaires again the next night 9-3; John Snyder (Wayne State) got the win, and Shawn Lee (Bellevue) singled in the winning run. Lee leads the Indians in hitting with a .392 average, and Evans leads the team in ERA, 2.92.
The same Coty Saranthus got wins in both ends of a double-header the previous day, 7-6 and 8-7 (8 innings) over the Weyburn Beavers. Saranthus finished the regular season 6-1, 0.41 ERA, struck out 62, and he leads the league in ERA. In the first game, Chris Norman (Erie CC) scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh when Mike Scaramella (Cal State Northridge) reached on an error. It took eight innings to complete a game scheduled for seven innings in the second game; Josh Correia (Point Park) singled in the winning run. James Green (Houston-Victoria) leads the league in hitting with an average of .423.