FASTPITCH SOFTBALL: Nevada County league opens postseason play Wednesday | TheUnion.com

FASTPITCH SOFTBALL: Nevada County league opens postseason play Wednesday

After nearly four months and more than 100 games of regular season play, the brackets are set for the 2017 Nevada County Men's Fastpitch Softball playoffs.

The popular local league, which plays its games at Memorial Park's Les Eva Field, will have four teams battling it out for the American League championship and another four competing for the National League title. The playoffs are single elimination.

The American League, considered the more competitive league, gets its playoff slate started at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with the No. 1 seed Bulldogs (11-2) facing the No. 4 seed Gold Country Automotive (4-9).

The Bulldogs, who won the league title in 2015, head into the playoffs on a 11-game win streak and boasting the best offense among the American League teams. Led by American League batting champ Justin Deme (.636 batting average, 10 home runs, 28 RBIs) the Bulldogs average 10.5 runs per game and have a team batting average of .460.

In addition to their potent offense, the Bulldogs are strong defensively, allowing a league low 4.2 runs per game.

Gold Country Automotive is led by Chad Garvey (.541, three home runs, 17 RBIs). As a team, they average 7.1 runs per game and allow a league-worst 10.8 runs per game.

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The Bulldogs and Gold Country Automotive faced each other three times this season, with the Bulldogs winning all three.

In the other American League playoff game, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, the defending champs and No. 2 seed All-Star Automotive (8-5) will face No. 3 seed Oroville Dirtbags (8-5) in a rematch of last season's title game.

All-Star Automotive comes into the game having won three of their last four and is led by Justin Nicholson (.528, six home runs, 20 RBIs) and Daryl Allen (.560, three home runs). As a team, they average 8.5 runs per game and allow 5.2 per game.

The Dirtbags are led by Travis Wood (.423, two home runs, four triples) and Jake Fox (.371, three home runs, 13 RBIs). They averaged 7.3 runs per game and allowed 6.6 per game.

All-Star Automotive and the Dirtbags matched up three times during the regular season, with All-Star Automotive winning two of the three.

The National League opens its playoffs at 6:30 p.m. today with the No. 2 seed Partners in Care (5-6-2) taking on No. 3 seed A-Z Supply (4-8-1).

Partners in Care is led at the plate by Brad Wyatt (.442, three triples, 14 RBIs) and averages 7.6 runs per game while allowing 8.5.

A-Z Supply had the wort offense in the league this season, scoring just 6.1 runs per game, but they did have the third best defense in the league, allowing just 7.2 runs per game. Offensively, they are led by Donavan Chilton (.448, two home runs, 13 RBIs).

A-Z Supply and Partners in Care are 1-1-1 against each other this season.

In today's second National League playoff game, which starts at 8 a.m., the defending National League champion and No. 1 seed Walkers Office Supply (7-5-1) faces No. 4 West Cal Concrete (4-9).

Walkers Office Supply had the top offense in the regular season, scoring 137 runs, which was one better than the Bulldogs. They are led by Chaz Lowery (.517, five extra base hits, 11 RBIs).

West Cal Concrete is led by National League batting champ Dalton Covert (.576, 10 extra base hits, 12 RBIs). As a team, they average 6.5 runs per game while allowing 10.6 per game.

Despite being the No. 4 seed, West Cal Concrete will have some confidence heading into the game after taking two of three meetings with Walkers Office Supply during the regular season.

Winners from each game will advance to next week's championship games. The National League Championship will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 30, and the American League title game is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 31. All games will be played at Memorial Park's Les Eva Field in Grass Valley.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

National League

First round

No. 2 Partners in Care vs. No. 3 A-Z Supply, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday

No. 1 Walkers Office Supply vs. No. 4 West Cal Concrete, 8 p.m., Wednesday

Championship

TBD vs. TBD, 7 p.m., Aug. 30

American League

First round

No. 1 Bulldogs vs. No. 4 Gold Country Automotive, 6:30 p.m., Thursday

No. 2 All Star Automotive vs. Oroville Dirtbags, 8 p.m., Thursday

Championship

TBD vs. TBD, 7 p.m., Aug. 31

*All games played at Memorial Park’s Les Eva Field in Grass Valley

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