By John Bombatch
XENIA — There was no big pile of collegiate baseball playing humanity after Sunday’s division clinching win. The Xenia Scouts know that a division title is a mere formality for what’s ahead for them. They’ve got more baseball to play.
It’s playoff time!
Xenia earned itself a first-round bye with Sunday’s 7-1 win over the Licking County Settlers. North Division champ Lima also earned a day off. Both the Scouts and the Locos will play the respective winners of Tuesday’s Play-In Round games in the opening round of the Play-Off Series, tonight at their respective ball parks.
The fifth-seeded Settlers upset no. 4 Grand Lake on Tuesday by an 11-4 score. They’ll advance to play the Locos at Lima’s Simmons Field tonight.
As the tournament’s no. 2 seed, the Scouts will host no. 3 Hamilton. The Joes emerged as a 3-1 victor over the Cincinnati Steam on Tuesday night.
Second-year manager Bubba Cates said the day off was badly needed.
“We have some arms who need a bit of rest. We probably won’t be able to use (Walter) Rook as a pitcher until late this week,” Cates said, “And so we’ll likely go with Noah (Jones) on Wednesday, and then go with Jorge Lozano on Thursday. That’s a pretty good combination for us in a 2-out-of-3 series, so we like that. We’ve got other guys that we also feel really good about, so I like that.
“Everybody is going to come up short on arms somewhere (during the post season). We don’t need to do that prematurely, though,” he said. “I’m just glad that two of the teams will be done before we get started.”
Xenia and Lima will host the Play-In winners in today’s opening round of the Play-Off Series. Game 2 will take place at the Play-In winners’ home fields on Thursday. If needed, the third contests will be played on Friday back in Lima and Xenia.
The Play-Off Series winners will then meet at the site of the higher remaining seed for Game 1 of a Best-of-5 series on Saturday, July 30. Games 1, 2 and 5 will be played at the higher seed’s park.
ROAD COVERAGE ON YOUTUBE: Xenia Scouts fans can follow the team on the road, Thursday, by logging onto Xenia Scouts broadcaster Andrew Alix’s YouTube broadcast. Go to YouTube.com/xeniascoutsradio.com to catch all the action.
ALL-LEAGUE SCOUTS: The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League named its all-league selections on Tuesday. Starting pitcher Jorge Lozano, a red-shirt freshman at Wright State University, and Scouts reliever Matthew Wade, a junior at Southeast Missouri State, were both named to the All-GLSCL first team.
Second-year Xenia manager Bubba Cates was named the league’s Manager of the Year, Scouts third baseman Chandler Atkins and pitcher Jacob Chrysler were both named to the All-GLSCL second team. Atkins is a freshman at Lipscomb University; Chrysler is a senior at Mount Vernon Nazarene College.
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.