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Rockers Playoff Scenario-Oct. 8, 2021

By Steve Shutt, 10/08/21, 4:15PM EDT

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Who to root for this weekend to help the Rockers

The High Point Rockers enter the final series of the 2021 regular season at Lancaster with one goal in mind: make the Atlantic League playoffs.

The funny thing is . . . it is out of the Rockers’ hands.  Whether High Point sweeps their series at Lancaster or drops a game or two, it will have no bearing on the ALPB pennant race.  At this point, High Point’s playoff chances are out of its own hands.

Here’s the scenario:  The Atlantic League playoffs feature the first half champions and the second half champions of the North and South Divisions.  The four half-season champions will play a best-of-three semifinal round followed by a best-of-five championship round.

The Rockers finished second in the South Division behind Lexington in the first half of the season, and the Charleston Dirty Birds (nee West Virginia Power) have clinched the second half South title.

The Long Island Ducks earned a playoff berth by winning the North Division’s first half title.  But there’s a fierce race for the second half North championship between Long Island, York, and Southern Maryland.

The Rockers will become huge Long Island fans this weekend as the Ducks host York.  Should Long Island repeat as outright second half North champs, then the Rockers are in the playoffs.

But if York or Southern Maryland win the North or tie Long Island for the title, then the Rockers will close the books on the 2021 season.

So Rockers fans should root with all their heart and might for Long Island to sweep York this weekend at Fairfield Properties Ballpark in Central Islip, N.Y.  Oh, and root against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in their series with Lexington.

Here’s the scenario:  Long Island and York enter their three-game series this weekend tied at 29-28 in the second half with three games remaining.  Southern Maryland is a half-game behind at 28-28 with four games left to play.  High Point’s only chance of reaching the playoffs is for Long Island to repeat as outright second half champion in the North.  If that happens, the Rockers are in the playoffs as the wild card team.

So what will it take for Long Island to repeat as second half North champs?

The Rockers need Long Island to win the second half North Division title outright.  In order for that to happen, Long Island has to win at least two of three from York this weekend at Long Island.  In addition, the Rockers need Southern Maryland to lose at least two games of their four-game series against Lexington in Waldorf, Md.  If both of those things happen, then the Rockers will be two-for-two in playoff appearances in their existence.

So get your Rockers gear on this weekend and root, root for the home team and Long Island!