The Division 1 competition in the local South Australian Baseball League came to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon setting the stage for what should be a fantastic finals series.
Heading into Sunday three teams - West Torrens, Sturt and Adelaide - were battling for the final two playoff spots. Plenty of scenarios were in play, including a crazy three-way tie between the three clubs.
However, for any of the scenarios to be activated Adelaide needed to beat Port Adelaide Magpies on the road. Unfortunately for the Adelaide Angels the Magpies won 6-1 and dashed their final's dream.
In other scores around the ground Kensington knocked off Northern Districts to secure another minor premiership. West Torrens secured a key home win over Glenelg to move up the ladder to fourth.
Sturt polished off Southern Districts 10-0 to finish the season in third place - a fantastic result from a side that missed the finals last season. Goodwood dropped from third to fifth after getting shut out by East Torrens 6-0.
This makes the (Top 6) look like the following:
1. Kensington Cardinals - 51 points
2. Port Adelaide Magpies - 51 points
3. Sturt Saints - 48 points
4. West Torrens Eagles - 48 points
5. Goodwood Indians - 47 points
6. Glenelg Tigers - 46 points
That means that the stage is set and the finals match ups have been determined. Each team will play in a best of three series that begins on Saturday 11 March. Game 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be played on Sunday 12 March. All games will be played at the highest ranked team's field.
The three winners of the series, as well as the highest ranked losing team, will play in a best-of-three preliminary final the next weekend.
6. Glenelg Tigers @ 1. Kensington Cardinals
The Tigers ended the Cardinals championship winning streak last season in the preliminary final and will look to do the same thing again this year.
The Cardinals had a strong second half and surged up the ladder. On the mound, the Cardinals will likely throw 3x Capps medalist Nick Talbot in one game and Bite import Sean Callegari in the other. This team is a veteran side loaded with experience and championship rings.
Glenelg, however, are still the defending champions. Last year's Capps medalist Wes Roemer has returned to the side to try to push the Tigers over the line.
It's a battle of heavy weights in the first round.
5. Goodwood Indians @ 2. Port Adelaide Magpies
Port Adelaide have been steady near the top all season and they get a home-final to reward their efforts.
South Aussie legends Darren Fidge, Ben Wigmore, Jeremy Creswell and Chris Adamson help carry the local load while rising star Chris Horne has made a strong impression on the mound this year.
Bite import import pitcher Zach Cooper will get a start for Goodwood in the series.
Port Adelaide feature one of the most exciting young baseball talents in Australia in 16 year old Jack O'Loughlin. Their import Dylan Brammer has been one of the best all season, especially after stepping into the role of a "two-way player".
The Magpies have one of the youngest side's in the competition with players like Brodie Arriola, Jackson Sowton and Jack Stead helping round out the side. The team is comparable to the Don Rice League finalist squad from 2016/17.
4. West Torrens Eagles @ 3. Sturt Saints
Sturt revamped their roster in the off-season and have great success.
Tom Brice moved from Kensington to play and manage. Evan LeBlanc and Connor O'Gorman moved from a championship side in Glenelg to play for the Saints as well.
They join a talented group of youngsters. Mitch Lightbody spent the season with the Bite, Harrison Knuckey starred on the U18 state team along with Damon Arnold.
Angus Roeger has been a mainstay in Sturt for years and is looking to add a championship to his resume.
But West Torrens has one of the best line ups in the competition. Jordan McArdle has been excellent in the middle of the line up all season. The Van Der Linden brothers, Nico and Nathan, have been consistent all year.
Their imports are also strong. Erik Sikula had games with the Bite this season and is coming off a 9.2 inning long appearance over the weekend. Jakob Vojak, an import who has played for the Czech National Team, is one of the better third basemen in the competition.
Any of the three match ups could go anyway making it one of the most exciting finals series in years!
Make sure you get down to your local ground to support local baseball!