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Bison vs Waves Series Preview (NC Semifinals)


The JAL 15 playoffs will begin Friday night with 2 outstanding Conference Semifinal matchups. Today we will preview the upcoming battle in the National Conference (#2 Bison vs #3 Waves) and tomorrow we will do the same for the American Conference (#2 Wrecking Crew vs #3 Express).

*All playoff games are from 7-9 pm Friday @ Riverside Park, Kelso. Every round is a 3-game series.

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This series is going to be a dandy, there's no doubt about it. And luckily for everyone, the entire series is set to be broadcast on Twitter.

The Waves (3-3) and Bison (5-1) squared off last Friday in the regular season and it was a barn burner. In the end, the Bison prevailed 2-0 in 2 extra innings. But don't let that and the fact that the Bison won 2 more games than the Waves this season fool you. This series could go either way.

On paper, the pitching is about equal. Clark (Waves) throws hard, and Titus (Bison) tosses movement balls. In terms of productivity though, we'd have to say they're about even. Both were all-stars this season and neither player has any relief pitching behind them. Clark and Titus will surely go the distance (pitch every inning) in this series. Fatigue at the pitching position will be a huge problem for whoever advances, but that's a whole other topic....

With the bats, you have to say advantage Waves... Klingberg (Waves) and Skreen (Bison) are the best batters, but Klingberg has the slight edge. Titus is also a good batter for the Bison, but after he and Skreen the offense gets below average. On the other side, the rest of the Waves hitters are average at worst.

For the Waves to win: They need to start touching Erik Titus early. By the end of game 1, West Coast needs to have his rise ball and curve ball located. The Waves don't necessarily need to be getting tons of hits right away, but if they can start making contact early it will keep them from getting desperate. Titus has also never pitched a playoff game before, and limiting his confidence will be huge. Defensively, Clark needs to stay discipline. After Skreen and Titus, the Bison don't have any offensive threats... So when Clark is facing Franklin and French III he needs to just keep it simple and throw heat down the middle. Trusting the speed of his fastball vs those 2 players instead of aiming for the corners (and risking walks) is key. If the Waves start allowing Franklin and French III to get on base via walks they will not win.

For the Bison to win: Skreen needs to have a big night. This is what they signed him mid-season for after-all. Nobody else on the team has the ability to go yard like he does. Instant offense will be huge for this team that relies on singles and walks to score points. Defensively Titus has to mix pitches. Klingberg, Lane Traver, and Clark are no scrubs... If you keep showing them the same pitch over and over they'll figure it out and burn you. Even if one of Titus's pitches is off he needs to stay confident and keep throwing it so that he's tossing enough variety to keep the Waves guessing. In the end, a walk is still better than a home run.....Lastly, Titus needs to make the majority of his movement pitches start in the zone-then miss outside as oppose to vise versa. The Waves play aggressive offense, especially Klingberg, and tend to swing at anything reachable more than most. Knowing the Waves play this way, Titus needs to keep balls outside the middle of the zone and trust that the Waves will bite. Giving them more balls to work with inside rather than outside will not end well.

SERIES PREDICTION

Game 1: Bison win 2-1

Game 2: Waves win 4-2

Game 3: Waves win 4-3

Waves win series 2-1


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