The JAL 15 Cowlitz Bambinos had it all. Top of the line pitching, batting and fielding, a perfect 6-0 regular season record, and the league MVP in Colton Titus. Then, it was over, and for this franchise, it ended in the worst way possible… At the hands of their bitter rivals, the Express.
At the beginning of the season expectations were very high, but the team didn't blink. They came in the #1 ranked team and the favorites to win it all. For two thirds of the season they acted like it too.
In the Bambinos first two games they started a little slow with a 8-7 win over the Wrecking Crew and a 5-0 win over the Lynx. After that though, they were absolutely lights out. Their last 4 games (vs Storm, Mafia, Fog, Express) Cowlitz won all by 10 runs, 3 of which ended early via the mercy rule.
Their last win over the Express was without question the most impressive. Granted, Kyle Godinho was out for the Express, but the Bambinos still had to face Michael Sullivan (a top 5 pitcher his whole career). Even though the game went a full five innings, Cowlitz embarrassed them 10-0 and took hold of the #1 seed in the AC and earned a first round bye to the AC Finals in the playoffs.
Following the regular season everyone assumed they had it all locked up. The Bambinos would win their 2nd title and quite possibly go down as the best team in league history. As we know though, that's not what happened.
In the AC Finals the B’s took on the Express (who defeated Washougal in the AC Semis) once again, this time with Kyle Godinho. For the playoffs Cowlitz was without one of their all-stars Nate Williamson, but even so the B’s were still the favorites.
In game 1of the 3 game series they lost 11-5. MVP Colton Titus gave up more runs in 2 innings of the game than he had all season. Suddenly Cowlitz looked vulnerable.
In game 2, facing elimination, Titus bounced back and allowed just 1 run to score. Unfortunately, on the other side Godinho allowed 0…. And that was all she wrote for the Bambinos historic season.
This was suppose to be the season Cowlitz knotted up the title count with Missouri at 2 and expanded the win count in the rivalry even more in their favor. It was supposed to be the season Cowlitz asserted themselves as the poster boys of the JAL. It was suppose to be the season in which we all witnessed possibly the best team in JAL history play their way to a championship…. But instead, we all now sit here wondering 2 days later if the JAL 15 Bambinos are the best team ever to not raise the cup.