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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Best the JetHawks Can Hope for is a Tie

Lancaster still has a chance to end the first half of the season tied for the California League South Division lead.  However, based on the league's tiebreaker procedures, the JetHawks have been mathematically elminated from contention from the 1st Half title and the play-off berth that goes with it.

Following are the standings as teams enter their final three game series before the all-star break.

Rancho Cucamonga- 36-31- ----
High Desert- 35-32-  1
Lake Elsinore- 35-32- 1
Lancaster- 34-33- 2

Thursday through Saturday, Lancaster hosts Inland Empire; High Desert hosts Rancho Cucamonga; and Lake Elsinore travels to Bakerfield for three games.

Two scenarios would land the JetHawks in a tie for the 1st Half division lead at the end of play on Saturday:

Scenario #1
Lancaster sweeps
High Desert beats Rancho Cucamonga 2 games to 1.
Lake Elsinore beats Bakersfield 2 games to 1.

The result is a 4-way tie at 37-33. 

Under California League rules, a four-way tie is narrowed down to the top two teams.  Those two teams face off on the field during the second half of the season to determine the first-half champion.  The first tiebreaker in such a situation is head to head records.  In this four-way tie, High Desert(20-14) and Rancho Cucamonga(23-17) have the top two head to head to head to head records.  Lake Elsinore(17-21) and the JetHawks(18-24) would miss out.

Scenario #2
Lancaster sweeps
High Desert beats Rancho Cucamonga 2 games to 1.
Lake Elsinore loses to Bakersfield 2 games to 1 or gets swept.

The result is a 3-way tie between Lancaster, Rancho Cucamonga and High Deserts at 37-33.

The three-way tie would also come down to head to head to head records and the JetHawks would be left out.  High Desert(12-10) and Rancho Cucamonga(15-13) would advance ahead of Lancaster(11-15).

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