With slightly over a month remaining in the Osceola Braves’ season, the team currently holds a conference record of 3-3, a standing which puts them in position to go on a run to end the season and secure themselves a playoff position in August.
In the league that the Braves currently play in, the route to the playoffs is determined through conference games and how well the Braves fare throughout those games during the season. The current conference standings have the Braves in third place out of the six total teams.
Based on record, the top three teams in the conference are selected to go to the playoffs, in addition to the Spooner Cardinals and the Haugen Knights. Those two teams gain automatic entry to the playoffs because they host the playoffs and their fields are used for the first two rounds of the postseason. Spooner is currently in first place in the conference with a record of 5-1.
Due to those stipulations, the Braves are fighting for a playoff spot with the Brill Millers and the Hayward Hawks. Both Hayward and Brill are tied for second place in conference standings with a record of 4-2; the Braves are in third place at 3-3.
The upcoming schedule for the Braves features several conference games, so their playoff contention will be determined over the coming weeks. Braves player/manager Brian Hronski discussed the significance of those games on the schedule.
“The team is still very confident and ready to make a push come July. We really control our playoff destiny. We have three games with Hayward and a pivotal home game with Brill in a couple of weeks. The guys feel we can win those games and we still think the playoffs are well within reach, it should really come down to the last weekend of play,” Hronski said.
Although the Braves have not yet played against Hayward, they have played one game against Brill, one of the teams the Braves will have to beat out to earn a playoff spot. On June 9 when the Braves traveled to Havelka Field to play the Brill Millers, it ended up being a 2-1 Braves defeat as both teams pitched their best starter.
The one game against Brill is the only previous game to use as a measuring stick against the two main teams vying for playoff position, Brill and Hayward. That makes the coming weeks absolutely critical for the Braves if they are going to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2017.
The Braves have their next game on July 10 against the Prescott Pirates at Oakey Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Last week’s results
Brill 2 10 innings
July 12 Brill at Hayward 730
July 12 Osceola at Spooner 730
July 13 Hayward at Spooner 730
July 13 Knights at Hornets 730
July 14 Brill at Hornets 1pm
Independent League Standings
Haugen Knights 3-5
Haugen Hornets 0-6