The AA-level Heifer League’s regular season has come to a close, and the four divisional title winners will move on to the two-round playoff starting tomorrow.
The four playoff teams are the Barn League’s Savannah Buccanners, and the Spokane North Stars, and the Pasture League’s Nashville Misfits and the Anchorage Sky Chiefs.
For Spokane, the Jacksonville Ravens AA affiliate, this is the fourth year in a row they have finished first to reach the playoffs, but the team has yet to win a championship. This season was also their best finish ever, at 49-23 (.681).
The Sky Chiefs dive into their first-ever playoff this postseason. The Chicago Pit Bulls affiliate has had a string of strong finishes in either 3rd or 2nd place since the league and the team formed in 2013, but 48-24 (.667) put them at the top of the Pasture League this season. Their stellar performance this season is due mainly to their pitching staff, which holds the lowest team ERA in the Pasture League, 3.06 for starters and 2.60 for relievers, and 2.91 overall.
Savannah and Nashville are both returning to the playoffs this season. For the Bucs, who are affiliated with the Anchorage Aces, their postseason appearance comes after missing the playoffs for three straight years. They were last in during their debut season in 2013, when they finished with a club high 42 wins
The Nashville Misfits are in the postseason for the third time in five seasons, and will look to Brendan Starratt to anchor their rotation during the postseason. A rising star in the Battle Creek organization, Starratt is a young power pitcher with great control, who went 7-2 with a 2.07 ERA and 61 K’s over 65.1 innings though this season.