The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts have the night off (following a rainout last night) as well as the July 4 holiday as the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL) takes a holiday breather.
The Big Train visits the Alexandria Aces tonight for a 6:30 pm start and the Gaithersburg Giants take on the FCA Braves at South County Field in Lorton, Virginia, at 7.
League play picks up again on Friday when the Bolts host the DC Grays in a game that has become important for league playoff position, and the Giants visit Alexandria. The Bolts are off Saturday, July 6, and then go to Shirley Povich Field on Sunday, July 7, to take on the Bethesda Big Train. This would be the seventh meeting of the teams this season; the last game between them is scheduled for Sunday, July 21, at 6 pm at Blair.
There are 15 games left (not counting last night’s rainout) and eight are scheduled at Blair. The highlight is a four-game home-stand from Saturday, July 13, through Wednesday, July 17. The T-Bolts take on the Gaithersburg Giants in a doubleheader on July 13, then have a pair of single games at home against the Aces on Sunday, July 14, and again on Wednesday, July 17.
The Bolts finish their season against the FCA Braves at home on Tuesday, July 23. Then, the teams that finish third through sixth will play each other on July 24 in a one-game play-in. The number three team plays the number six team on the home field of the third place team. The fourth place team hosts the fifth place team in a similar game. The two teams that finished first and second receive a bye.
The CRCBL Semi-Final series is scheduled for July 25-27. It will be a best two of three series in which the team that finished first in the regular season plays against the play-in winner that finished in the lowest position of the remaining teams. The team that finished second in the regular season will play the play-in winner that finished in the next highest position.
The higher ranking teams will host the first game, travel for the second, and if there is a third game, will return to the home field of the higher ranking team to complete the series.
Much depends upon the weather and field availability as last year’s play-in game between the Bolts and the Gaithersburg Giants began in Gaithersburg, was suspended due to rain, and finished at the Nats Baseball Academy the following day. Even that game was halted by rain but the deluge held off long enough for the Bolts to escape the downpour with a 7-4 victory.
The Bolts went on to play Bethesda in a best of three and got the first game in at Shirley Povich, which was a 4-1 loss. The second game scheduled for Blair was cancelled due to wet grounds and the game was rescheduled as part of a potential doubleheader against the Big Train at Shirley Povich.
If the Bolts, as the “home team,” won the second game in the afternoon, a third game would have followed. But the Bolts lost, 14-8, after leading 7-4 after five.
So, the playoffs depend upon a lot more than just the teams involved, so stay flexible, and watch this site for the latest information on the games, come playoff time.