The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it high school baseball season is turning into a classic pennant chase.
With two games to play, all four playoff teams in the Cook Inlet Conference are still alive for postseason play, separated by just one game.
This is when contenders rise and pretenders fall.
Thursday’s games are No. 4 South vs. No. 2 West at 4:30 p.m., followed by No. 3 Chugiak vs. No. 1 Service at 7 p.m. Both games are at Mulcahy Stadium.
The results will go a long way in helping determine which teams will be in the driver’s seat going into Friday’s finale - unless the if-necessary game is needed Saturday.
Only two of the four teams will advance to the state tournament.
Catch all the CIC playoff games on ASBN radio with Kelly Thompson and Bob Barger at 590-AM and 96.7-FM.
Thursday also features a pseudo JV title tilt between Chugiak and South-Black, which will play at Oberg Field with first-place on the line.
After one of the most exciting finishes in regular season history, the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs begin with the expectation that anything can happen.
Parity is perfection, balance is beautiful.
The four playoff teams in 1, Service, 2, West, 3, Chugiak, 4, South were a combined 6-6 against each other during the regular season.
The championship pool play kicks off Tuesday at Mulcahy Stadium with a matchup between No. 1 Service and No. 4 South, a rematch of 2-1 thriller the Cougars won on May 11 on a walk-off base hit.
The second pool play is Wednesday at Mulcahy between No. 2 West and No. 3 Chugiak, a rematch of last night’s 9-4 victory by the Eagles that clinched the higher seed. The teams came into the night tied.
Championship pool play continues Thursday and Friday at Mulcahy, with a potential if-necessary game Saturday.
Meanwhile, the consolation pool featuring 5, Dimond, 6, Eagle River, 7, Bartlett, 8, East begins Thursday at the Kosinski Fields.
One of the latest snowfalls on record has been devastating for the Cook Inlet Conference baseball season.
For the second straight day, an entire slate of games was canceled for varsity and junior varsity teams.
That means we will have to wait even longer to see who will advance to the championship pool that will determine which two CIC teams advance to the state tournament.
The only two varsity games that matter right now are Eagle River-Dimond and West-Chugiak. They are the final two matchups of the regular season.
The games were supposed to be played Friday and Saturday.
Now Eagle River-Dimond will be played Monday at 4:30 p.m. and West-Chugiak will be Monday at 7 p.m. Both games are at Mulcahy Stadium, just about the only capable field thanks to its million-dollar FieldTurf infield.
Dimond needs to beat Eagle River and then hope Chugiak beats West to advance to the championship pool.
If Eagle River wins, then South would take the No. 4 seed by winning a tiebreaker over Dimond.
West and Chugiak will play for the No. 2 seed, with the loser settling for the No. 3 seed.
Service has already secured the No. 1 seed.
Records carry over from the regular season.
The ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Tournament begins May 30 in Anchorage.
Due to snow, Friday's two Cook Inlet Conference games between Eagle River-Dimond and West-Chugiak have been postponed.
The games have been rescheduled for Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium, weather permitting. Eagle River-Dimond will play at 1 p.m. and West-Chugiak at 4 p.m.
Given the weather isn't expected to improve, official word will come around 10 a.m. Saturday morning on whether the field can withstand two games. Stay tuned.
If those games can't be played Saturday, they will be moved to Monday.
What does this mean for the schedule?
Throw it away.
Check back here for revised schedules and updated information.
All pool games are on hold until the regular season is finished because the outcome of these two games will determine the final seedings.
Service has secured the No. 1 seed.
Chugiak and West are playing for the No. 2 seed.
South and Dimond are battling for the No. 4 seed.
JUNIOR VARSITY UPDATE
All JV games scheduled Friday and Saturday at Kosinski Fields have been canceled due to poor field conditions.
Service, Chugiak and West have punched tickets to the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs.
Now the question is who will join them?
It’ll be either South or Dimond.
That will be answered Friday when Dimond plays a must-win game against Eagle River while South waits on the bubble looking to play spoiler.
The final berth will come down to tiebreakers.
This is how it shakes out:
South has a 75 percent probability, having the advantage in three of four scenarios.
Dimond needs to beat Eagle River at 4:30 and then hope Chugiak beats West at 7 p.m. Both games are at Mulcahy Stadium.
The top four teams advance to the championship pool play while the other four drop into the consolation pool. The top two teams in the championship pool advance to the state tournament.
Records carry over from the regular season. But only teams in the championship pool can qualify for state.
Service has clinched the No. 1 seed.
Chugiak and West will finish either No. 2 or No. 3.
South or Dimond will be No. 4.
Digging deeper into the tiebreakers, two games stand out: South’s 18-12 win over Eagle River, and West’s 12-0 win over South. Those two games had the biggest impact on the tiebreaker for fewest runs.
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|#Top 2 after 10 games qualify to state
Chugiak 20, West 9
South 3, Service 1
Service 9, West-Black 2
Dimond 6, Eagle River 1
Chugiak 3, South-G 2
South-B 7, West-O 0
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