By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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The easy way is to beat Bremerton today. Simple enough.
Losing to the Knights would put the Wolves in a tough spot.
Sequim (9-6, 11-7) is one of five teams in the Olympic League within a half-game of each other who are gunning for the four remaining spots in the league tournament.
North Kitsap (11-4) has claimed the league title and one league tourney berth. Behind the Vikings is Sequim, Klahowya (9-6), Olympic (9-6), North Mason (8-6) and Bremerton (8-6).
Win today, on the last day of its regular season, and Sequim rises above the cluster and secures a playoff berth.
And if the Wolves lose?
“I don’t know if I have a great answer for you,” Dave Ditlefsen, Sequim’s baseball coach and athletic director, said Sunday.
Of course, there are tiebreaker criteria in place, but there is also a crucial stipulation.
“A team can’t be eliminated from the postseason with the tiebreakers,” Ditlefsen said.
And that is where things become murky.
Ditlefsen expects in-or-out tiebreaker scenarios will be decided among the league’s athletic directors today. He anticipates there will be some sort of a playoff played between any teams tied for the final postseason berth.
So the key seems to avoiding the No. 5 and No. 6 spots in the league standings — don’t be one of those teams and don’t be stuck in an unbroken tie with them.
The first tiebreaker is head-to-head records.
The Wolves swept Olympic, split with Klahowya and North Mason, and have dropped their only game against Bremerton.
So a loss today could be double the trouble because then Bremerton would hold the head-to-head advantage over Sequim.
The team Sequim does want to be tied with is Olympic because the Wolves swept the season series.
The Trojans play North Mason today, so one of the other playoff hopefuls will be tied with the loser of the Sequim-Bremerton.
In fact, Klahowya faces North Kitsap today, so all six potential postseason teams are facing another. So, the winners will essentially clinch playoff off berths.
Today’s losers will be subject to tiebreakers.
After head-to-head, the next tie breaker criteria is each team’s record against the rest of the league, starting at the top with North Kitsap and going down until tiebreakers are settled.
Bremerton, Olympic and Klahowya each have wins over the Vikings this season (the other team to beat the Vikings was Port Angeles, which at 6-8 is just barely out of postseason contention).
If for some reason the ties aren’t broken by the records against the playoff contenders, then the records against the non-contenders would come into play.
First up would be Port Angeles. The Roughriders were swept by Olympic, split with Sequim, Bremerton and Klahowya, and have one game left against North Mason.
Not everything will be completely decided today because North Mason hosts Port Angeles on Tuesday and Bremerton plays at Port Townsend on Wednesday.
Slip-ups by the Bulldogs or Knights in either of those games could clarify and further muddle the Olympic League’s postseason set up.
However, Sequim can take the easy way and clear its path to the postseason by winning today at Sequim High School at 4:15 p.m.
Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.