The Connecticut Twilight League will be starting something new tomorrow.
The first-ever CTL Summer Classic will be played at Balf-Savin Field on the campus of Central Connecticut State University. All 10 CTL teams will be in action, starting with the two-time defending champion Bristol Knights playing against the Glastonbury Pirates at 8:30 a.m.
The Brickhouse Indians and Portland Panthers are slated to start around 10:45 a.m. The Willimantic Ridges and East Hartford Angels begin around 1 p.m. They are followed by the Elmer's Silver Bullets and Moodus Nationals at about 3:15 p.m. The final game of the day goes off around 5:30 and features the Loco Perro Expos and the Chicago Sam's Orioles.
Game times are limited to two hours each because there are no lights at Balf-Savin Field.
The games were supposed to be played in June at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford, but you already know the story of that debacle, so no need to rehash it here.
A quick update on the CTL Standings:
The Knights lead the Central Division and own the CTL's best record at 17-3. The Knights are also first in the playoff standings, which would earn them a first round bye.
Next up is the Central are the Silver Bullets, who are 12-5-1 and 3.5 games behind the Knights. The Orioles are 13-7 (4 games out of first), followed by the Angels at 8-10-2 (8 games out) and the Indians at 7-9-3 (8 games out).
The race in the East is a tight one. The Ridges (9-9) and Nationals (8-8-1) are tied for first with a first round bye in the playoffs there for the taking (division winners get a bye). The Pirates are 7-10-1 and 1.5 games out of first. They are followed by the Panthers at 6-12-1 (3 games out) and the Expos at 2-16-1 (7 games out).
All 10 teams make the playoffs, but there are important caveats. The division winners each get a bye through the first round of the double-elimination format. The bottom four teams start with a loss in the elimination bracket. That means one and done -- one loss and they're out.
Here is the current playoff order: 1. Knights; 2. Ridges; 3. Silver Bullets; 4. Orioles; 5. Nationals; 6. Angels. Bottom four -- Indians, Pirates, Panthers, Expos.
There is a week of makeup games from Aug. 8-12. The playoffs begin on Monday, Aug. 15.