The Connecticut Twilight League has to get through a week of makeup games before the playoffs begin on Aug. 8, but there are already some known commodities.
One of those is the two-time defending champion Bristol Knights. The Knights wrapped up the top seed and a first round bye with a win over the Chicago Sam's Orioles on July 22. Bristol got strong pitching from Marco Ross and a bases-clearing double from Phil Rothkugel in the 7-2 victory at Bristol Eastern High School.
The Knights are 19-4-1 with just the makeup games left to go in the regular season. On offense, the bats of Eddie Dickman, Julio Ortiz-Rivera and Marco Ross have led the way. Ross has also been good on the mound with his sidearm delivery from the right side. Chris McGrath has been great from the left side for Bristol, which has an ERA of around 1.25 this season. Defensively, shortstop/third baseman Rick Barrett and catcher Dickman have been great, as has the outfield combination of Kyle Lentini, Ortiz-Rivera and Steve Clout.
Here's another known commodity: Bristol will again be tough to beat as it takes aim at a three-peat.
Trying to stop the Knights will be the rival Elmer's Silver Bullets, who are locked in as the No. 3 seed. The rival Orioles are locked in at No. 4, and the Loco Perro Expos are set at No. 10. All 10 teams make the playoffs, but prefer to avoid the last four slots. Starting in 7-10 means having a loss before stepping onto a field. The top two seeds get a first round bye while 3-6 open up without a loss on their ledgers.
Unfortunately for the Silver Bullets and the Orioles, they are in the Central Division with the Knights, so they won't end up with a first round bye. That bye will go to the Eastern Division winner, which will have less wins than the Silver Bullets and the Orioles.
The Silver Bullets and Orioles handed the Knights back-to-back losses to begin the season, but the Knights have gone 19-2-1 since. Bristol's only defeats in that 22-game stretch are to the Glastonbury Pirates and the Brickhouse Indians.
After the makeup games have been completed, it will be time to see who has what it takes to dethrone the Bristol Knights.