SWBL Season 17 ended with a new Champion in the franchise era...
Congratulations to the SWBL Yankees on winning the 2019 SWBL Championship, finally winning their first in the franchise era. This team has won together before though, winning the last season of the non-franchise era. The Yankees championship lineup consisted of Scott Pohle, Sam Bakula, John Calloway, Jackson Crosley, and Kevin Pohle. They went 7-3 in the regular season, finishing second to the Royals in the Cardinal Blinds Division and secured the fourth seed in the playoffs, becoming the first team out of the wild card game to win the Championship.
The playoffs started out this year with the annual Wild Card game featuring the Brewers (5 seed) vs. the Yankees (4 seed). In a close matchup, the Yankees held off the Brewers in the final inning to win the Wild Card, handing the Brewers their first loss in this particular game. 5-3, Yankees move on behind the pitching arm of Jackson Crosley.
The second playoff matchup featured the #3 Royals vs. #2 Twins. 17 total home runs were hit in this game, with 10 of the 13 Royals runs, scored off Spencer Bogad in the first two innings. The Twins tried to comeback, but ended with the 13-10 loss. Sam Skibbe pitched the complete game and added 3 home runs at the plate to lead his team, and the Royals move on to their third SWBL Championship game in a row.
In the third playoff game, the #4 seed Yankees went up against the #1 seed, 9-1 Rockies. Jackson and Brett went to the mound for their teams and both pitched well. The Yankees score all of their runs in the first two innings, but the Rockies could not get anything going consistently at the plate. Sam Bakula was a man on a mission, hitting 3 home runs and the Yankees are back to the Championship game after some tough years prior.
The Royals and Yankees faced off in the championship and for the Royals, the outcome was, yet again, the same. This game was a head scratcher. These two potent offenses were on full display featuring 31 runs on 34 hits. In addition, every single player in the game hit at least two home runs and Ty Butler went 6-6 with 5 homers himself! The Yankees got to Sam early, and the Royals made an enormous comeback on Jackson late. With one out in the bottom of the last inning and two runners on, Gus Skibbe stepped up to the plate and after the Yankees considered walking him so he wouldn’t tie the game, Gus popped up to end it and the Yankees win 17-14 in a wild, shootout of a championship game.
Congratulations to the Yankees on their 2019 Championship and to Jackson Crosley and Kevin Pohle for their first of their careers! The Yankees are the fourth (ish) team in the franchise era to win the coveted Championship trophy. (Rays, Rockies, Phillies/Twins)