Sports

Carman Cardinals set to start inaugural season

The Valley Leader

Senior baseball is back in Carman this year, and the first home game of the season is fast approaching. The newly minted Carman Cardinals will be taking on the Winkler Whips on May 22 at 7:00 p.m.

The Border Baseball League announced the release of their 2018 regular season schedule last week.

The league says the teams will play a balanced 14-game regular season schedule with each team facing off against each other twice each with a single game home and away over the course of the season.

League officials says that 2017 season was one of the most competitive seasons in the history of the league and the coming season appears to be rolling out with more questions than answers as to who will be left standing when it’s all said and done.

The 2018 season welcomes an expansion team to the league for the second time in the last three seasons.

After the Winkler Whips came within 2 wins of a league championship in their first season (2016), the Carman Cardinals will play their inaugural season in the league which increases the field to 8 teams fighting for the right to hoist the WG (Gerry) Coulthard Trophy.

Border Baseball League provides team snapshot

For anyone just tuning into the local league, or anyone wanting to brush up on the teams, the Border Baseball League offered a summary of last year's season.

The Morden Mohawks claimed their 4th championship in the last five seasons in 2017. The Mohawks regained the title from the Pilot Mound Pilots in a sensational championship series that saw the Mohawks walk-off game 4 to end it.

Both of these teams also reached the semi-finals at AA Provincials in Neepawa with Morden coming home with a silver medal. The two teams will open the season against each at Buhler Field in Morden.

The Pilots did defend their regular season title, finishing atop the Border League standings thanks to an 8-game winning streak to take them into playoffs and then outlasted Cartwright in a decisive game in the semi-finals to punch their ticket back to the finals.

The Twins and Clearwater both represented the league well at the Provincial ‘A’ championships in Rivers, with both teams reaching the semi-finals and the Twins ultimately bringing home the silver medal.

The always dangerous Baldur Regals will look to rebound after a season that saw them lose a playoff series to Cartwright for the first time, and be eliminated in the league quarter-finals for the first time in team history.

The Killarney Lakers round out the 8-team league, looking to improve on their 9-win season from a year ago which was good for fourth in the league standings.

All eight teams will qualify for post-season play with the playoff format once again being altered to fit the ultra competitive league. A best of 5 quarter-final series (1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5) will take place with winners being re-seeded for a best of 5 semi-final and ultimately a best of 5 championship series.

You can find the full season schedule details online: https://ballcharts.com/teams/index.php?team=borderwestbaseball