2013 RYLEY REBELS
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2013 POWERLINE BASEBALL LEAGUE STANDINGS
* Top Four Teams Make The PBL Playoffs
UPCOMING PBL GAMES (7:00PM):
Tuesday May 21
Bardo Athletics (0-2) @ Leduc Milleteers (2-0-1)
Beaumont Angels (0-2) @ Ryley Rebels (2-0-1)
Camrose Roadrunners (1-1) @ Holden Blue Jays (1-2)
Thursday May 23
Leduc Milleteers @ Beaumont Angels
Armena Royals @ Camrose Roadrunners
Holden Blue Jays @ Ryley Rebels
REBELS OPEN 2013 SEASON WITH A WIN
TEAM COMES FROM BEHIND TO TAKE SECOND GAME IN A WEEK FROM BARDO
For the second time in less than a week, the Ryley Rebels had to dig deep and overcome a bad defensive inning to defeat the Bardo Athletics, this time it was in the regular season as the two teams kicked off the 2013 PBL Schedule in Holden.
W - Craig Koughan (1-0)
L - Chris Middlestat (0-1 vs Rebels)
S - Kris Kushnerick (1)
P Craig Koughan would make his second career Opening Day start for the Rebels, both of which came against the Bardo Athletics. With the win on Saturday, Koughan moved to 2-0 versus the Athletics on Opening Day since joining the team in 2010. His first win came in 2011 after the Rebels defeated Bardo 9-5.
It was also the second start versus the Athletics in four days for Koughan and the Athletics jumped out of the gate quickly with the bats as lead off hitter C Rob Berrecloth would hit a double to centre field to start the game. The line drive to centre managed to take a high hop off of the rock hard Holden turf and over the head of CF Tyson Schielke for the easy stand up double by Berrecloth. Koughan however was not fazed and stranded Berrecloth at third base after three ground ball outs in a row including a nice pick up deep in the hold by SS Brian Tavaroli.
But Bardo's P Chris Middlestat answered in a big way as he would strike out the Rebels in order in the home half of the first getting CF Corey Epp, SS Brian Tavaroli and 1B Kyle Reinholt swinging. The Rebels would finally break through in the home half of the second inning when after retiring four Rebels in a row, RF Kris Kushnerick would finally get to Middlestat with a single to left field on a 1-1 fastball to give the Rebels their first hit of the game. But once again Middlestat would answer by getting out of the inning with Kushnerick stranded at third base and 3B Travis Bugge left at first to keep the game 0-0 heading into the third inning.
Bardo P Chris Middlestat challenged P Craig Koughan on Opening Day
Koughan would answer for the Rebels in what looked like was shaping up to be a pitchers duel by retiring six Athletics in a row in the second and third innings. By blanking the Athletics through three, Koughan was finally able to get some support in the bottom of the third when CF Tyson Schielke would reach on an infield single and error to SS Ryan Olson. Then with one out and Schielke on second base, SS Brian Tavaroli would hit a hard line drive to right field that took another great hop which led to a bobble by RF Chris Kallal allowing Tavaroli to get to second base on the error. But once again Middlestat would settle in and record back to back Reinholt strikeouts to end the threat and leave a Rebels runner in scoring position.
As with the exhibition game on Tuesday night, it was a Rebels error that led to a big inning for the Bardo Athletics. SS Ryan Olson would hit a ground ball that handcuffed 3B Travis Bugge allowing him to reach first base. Olson would quickly take off for second base on the steal but would reach third when an errant throw by C Kevin Reinholt sailed into centre field. A RBI single by CF Joel Hendrickson, who entered the game for an injured CF Craig Neufeld, would tie the game up at 1-1. The next batter, 3B Ken Bragget would pop up to LF Travis Jones would ended up misjudging the effect of the wind, missing the ball and allowing the Athletics to reach second and third base. Back to back to back hits by 1B Peter Neufeld, RF Chris Kallal and LF Jeremy Copeland all scored runs and pushed the Athletics lead to 4-1 with no one out. With the shaky defence behind him, Koughan would strike out two of the next four batters to end the inning and limit the damage to four runs.
1B Kyle Reinholt takes a swing on his quest for the PBL batting title
Would a patented Rebels implosion ensue? Many fans thought so, but the team had other ideas and answered the criticism.
The first pitch of the fourth inning by P Chris Middlestat was promptly ripped back up the middle on a line drive single to centre field by RF Kris Kushnerick. The hit would kick start the inning for the Rebels as P Craig Koughan singled to send Kushnerick from first to third, followed by another single by 3B Travis Bugge to score him and make the game 4-2 with no one out. PH Brett Holmberg would make his second impact play against the Athletics in as many games as he would tomahawk a Middlestat offering into centre field to score another run and move the Rebels to within one at 4-3 Bardo.
A RBI single would fall for the Rebels in the fourth inning
2B Corey Epp would come up clutch scoring the tying run as he would single home 3B Travis Bugge on a close play at home. With the go ahead run in his sights, LF Brett Holmberg would try to come all the way around from second base but a strong relay throw by SS Ryan Olson from almost as deep as the left fielder would nab Holmberg at home. A slide probably means a run, but the pants stayed white for another day and the 7-6-2 out was recorded. The Rebels found some luck as 2B Corey Epp would score on a wild pitch and fortuitous bounce off of the close Holden back stop to score the fifth and final run for the Rebels. At the end of a long inning by both teams, the Rebels found themselves ahead 5-4 heading into the fifth.
Rebels LF Brett Holmberg is tagged out at home by C Rob Berrecloth
P Craig Koughan told skipper Kevin Reinholt he was good for one more inning and pitched a scoreless fifth before turning the ball over to the bullpen for the sixth and seventh innings. But who was going to come in from the bullpen was a little bit of a guessing game as Reinholt ordered both Corey Epp and Kris Kushnerick up in the pen to warm up. When both players looked to be struggling due to some sore shoulders probably the result of badly planned bullpen session that involved a radar gun, Brian Tavaroli also made his way to the pen. It wasn't until the Rebels were trotting out onto the field at the beckoning of the umpire that it was decided that Kushnerick's shoulder was a hair better than Epp's and he was standing the closest to the mound on the way to the outfield.
PH Nick Scott would hit a bloop single off the end of the bat and over the head of 3B Travis Bugge, just inside the line, to put the tying run on base. After striking out 2B Sean Melanson, C Rob Berrecloth out chip a stand up double into left field on a pitch above the shoulders and well outside to put the tying run on third base and the go ahead run at second base. Kushnerick was able to thumb it in just well enough to get a ground out to SS Chris Middlestat and a fly ball to P Ryan Olson to end the inning. Kushnerick would return in the seventh to record the six out save by retiring CF Joel Hendrickson, 3B Ken Braget and 1B Peter Neufeld in order to end the game.
2B Corey Epp takes a lead from first with 1B Peter Neufeld looking on
While the win was great, the team really wants to focus on getting out ahead of teams early and avoiding the meltdowns in the field which have led the opposition to big innings in two straight games. Especially with the four time PBL Champion Leduc Milleteers as the Rebels next opponent on Tuesday night in Leduc. No word on who will be taking the hill for the Rebels, but it was an early season visit to Leduc in 2012 that helped kick start a great run by the team which ultimately but them into a position to take first place. Hoping the same will hold true in 2013.
REBELS TAKE EXHIBITION GAME AGAINST BARDO
TEAMS GET 5 INNINGS OF BASEBALL IN BEFORE DARKNESS FALLS
With the 2013 PBL Season just around the corner, the Rebels and Athletics were able to hook up for an exhibition game prior to meeting on Saturday May 11 to kick off the season in Holden.
W - Brian Tavaroli (1-0)
L - Unknown Athletic (0-1)
S - Blake Helgeland (1)
Both teams were held scoreless in the first inning as RHP Craig Koughan and RHP Chris Kallal settled in quickly. Bardo would strike first in the second inning when 1B Peter Neufeld would come around to score after reaching base on an error to 2B Corey Epp of the Rebels who was in mid-laugh following a 1B Kyle Reinholt joke. The Rebels would mount a come back in the home half of the second inning when P Craig Koughan would help his own cause by driving in C Blake Helgeland from third on a piping hot single to left field.
Koughan would surrender only two more singles in the top of the third inning before retiring for the evening after three innings of work. Koughan would face a total of twelve Athletics' hitters giving up only three singles, striking out one and not walking anyone. The run scored against him was unearned.
The Rebels would take the lead in the bottom of the third inning when CF Kris Kushnerick drove in PR Corey Epp, who was running for SS Brian Tavaroli, on a single to left field. With one out and the bases loaded the Rebels would only be able score the lone run opening the door for the Athletics to answer in a big way in the top of the fourth inning.
With long relief P Brian Tavaroli on the hill the Athletics would score a total of four runs, three earned, which were aided by another Rebels error and two wild pitches. Sean Melanson would plate 1B Peter Neufeld and SS Chris Middlestat on his double and Jeremy Copeland would push the lead to 5-2 on his RBI ground out. The lone highlight for the Rebels of the inning was the rare 1-6-3 ground out that Athletic Nick Scott hit into. The ball would ricochet off of P Brian Tavaroli to SS Dustin Solberg who would nab Scott on a strong throw to 1B Kyle Reinholt for the second out.
In the top of the five inning Bardo would get the ball rolling for their four runs on an error to 3B Travis Bugge. In the home half of the inning Ryley would capitalize on an error to SS Chris Middlestat to re-take the lead for good.
After reaching on the error, 2B Craig Koughan would take second base on a wild pitch to get into scoring position for a RF Brett Holmberg RBI single to right field. Holmberg recorded his first career Rebels hit and RBI on the play to make it 5-3 Bardo. The strike zone would play some mind games with the Bardo pitching as not only would the bases be loaded on walks, a run would be walked in to score as 1B Kyle Reinholt took the easy RBI to make it 5-4 Athletics with one out.
C Kevin Reinholt would cash in the go ahead run on a RBI single to make it 6-5 Rebels before CF Kris Kushnerick would add two more insurance runs to put the game out of reach.
The teams would trade scoreless fifth innings as P Chris Middlestat and P Blake Helgeland pitched quickly and effectively to end the game 8-5 Rebels. The clean top of the fifth inning earned Helgeland his first save of 2013.
It will be a quick turnaround for the teams as they will get right back at it on Saturday afternoon in Holden to kick off the 2013 PBL schedule. The game is at 2:00pm and will be followed by a 6:00pm game between the Leduc Milleteers and the Holden Blue Jays.
2013 REBELS SCHEDULE PREVIEW
PBL Releases Seven Team Schedule
With the 2013 season right around the corner, the Powerline Baseball League has finalized its seven team schedule which will see each team play fourteen regular season games. Two games will be played against each of the six other opponents with an additional game against two 'rivals' which for the Rebels will be an additional game against the Bardo Athletics and the Leduc Milleteers in 2013.
REBELS 2013 SCHEDULE (all game times 7:00pm unless otherwise noted)
Saturday May 11 vs Bardo Athletics (afternoon game TBD)
Tuesday May 14 @ Leduc Milleteers
Thursday May 16 @ Armena Royals
Tuesday May 21 vs Beaumont Angels
Thursday May 23 vs Holden Blue Jays
Tuesday May 28 vs Camrose Roadrunners
Thursday May 30 @ Beaumont Angels
Tuesday June 4 @ Bardo Athletics
Tuesday June 11 vs Bardo Athletics
Thursday June 13 @ Holden Blue Jays
Thursday June 20 @ Camrose Roadrunners
Thursday June 27 vs Leduc Milleteers
Tuesday July 2 @ Leduc Milleteers
Thursday July 4 vs Armena Royals
The Rebels will, for the fourth straight season, take on the Bardo Athletics to kick the season off and hold a 1-2 record in those games. The visiting team has won all three of the previous meetings between the Rebels and Athletics on Opening Day.
Rebels vs Athletics on Opening Day
2012: 8-1 loss in Ryley
2011: 9-5 win in Bardo
2010: 10-5 loss in Ryley
For 2013, the Ryley Rebels have requested that the Saturday May 11 game be moved to Holden and be played either before or after the Holden Blue Jay and Leduc Milleteer game in honour of the late Pat Kawaluik who passed away in February. The league will await the decision from the Holden Blue Jays as they did not have a representative at the Spring GMs Meeting to finalize the details.
It is unclear who the Rebels opening day starter will be, but the odds on favourite is 2012 PBL All-Star and five game winner, Craig Koughan. Since 2010 Koughan is 2-3 vs the Bardo Athletics including one save. Should Koughan get the nod on Opening Day by Manager Kevin Reinholt, he will become the first Rebels pitcher to get the ball on Opening Day in more than one season.
Ryley Rebels Opening Day Starters
2012: Corey Epp took the loss vs the Bardo Athletics in Ryley
2011: Craig Koughan earned the win vs the Bardo Athletics in Bardo
2010: Joel Graumann received a no decision vs the Bardo Athletics after leaving with an injury
2009: Dylan Solberg made the first start for the Rebels against the Leduc Milleteers in Ryley
The 2013 Rebels schedule is front end loaded in 2013 with a total of seven games in nineteen days. Previously the Rebels have never played in more than six games in May, but were 4-2 in 2011 during those games. History shows that the Rebels typically find them selves sub .500 when the calendar turns from May to June with 2011 being the exception.
Rebels May Record
2012: Team posted a 2-3 record in May including one forfeit to the Leduc Milleteers
2011: A three game winning streak led to a 4-2 record in May including a 3-0 May record at home
2010: The worst May record in the teams history with a 1-3 record, 0-2 at home
2009: The first season saw the team drop the first two games of the season and a 2-3 record in May
The team will need to get off to a better start in May if they hope to once again find themselves in the PBL Postseason come July. Traditionally the Rebels go on a streak in late May as three of the last four seasons longest win streaks have done so. Most recently in 2012 when the Rebels found themselves in a position to take first place from the Milleteers after winning four in a row, including one on the road in Leduc.
Longest Rebels Winning Streaks Season by Season
2012: Four game win streak from May 31 - June 12
2011: Three game win streak from May 10 - 17
2010: Five game win streak from June 22 - July 15
2009: Three game win streak from May 26 - June 2
With another team coming into the league in 2013, the Beaumont Angels, the importance to getting off to a quick start will be even more important as only four teams will make the playoffs. The Rebels will play the Angels twice in the month of May to set the tone early. The Rebels are 2-4 vs expansion teams since 2009 going 1-2 vs the 2010 Holden Blue Jays and 1-2 vs the Camrose Roadrunners in 2011 after the Tofield Lakers franchise was moved.
Those games in May will go along way into deciding the seeding for the playoffs, especially once the dog days of June hits. The Rebels will find themselves on the road from three games in June as opposed to only two home games in the month, but will still have a full schedule with the 2013 Ryley Sports Days baseball tournament and the 2013 PBL/BRBL All Star Game in late June. It appears though that as other teams slow down the Rebels begin to pick things up as the team is 17-10 in the month of June since 2009 including a 7-4 record on the road.
Rebels June Record
2012: A 5-2 record in June, 4-0 on the road and 1-2 at the Ryley Ball Park
2011: The teams worst June in history going 2-3 with a 1-2 record at home and 1-1 road record
2010: 4-1 at home and 1-0 on the road left the Rebels with a 5-1 record the month of June
2009: Great at home 4-1 but miserable on the road 1-3 saw the team go 5-4 overall in June
In June 2013, the Rebels see a home and home series vs the Bardo Athletics to kick off the month and a home and home series against the Leduc Milleteers at the end of the month. Originally a game vs Leduc was inbetween the Bardo games, but the small change was made on the official schedule that was released.
33-27-1: Regular season record for the Rebels since 2009
14-21-1: A miserable .402 winning percentage against playoff bound teams since 2009
19-6-0: The good news is that the team typically doesn't let wins against non-playoff teams slip away
In 2012 the Rebels went 5-0 vs the Holden Blue Jays and the Camrose Roadrunners (one game vs the Roadrunners was not played due to no impact on the standings at the end of the season) but 3-6 against the Bardo Athletics, Armena Royals and Leduc Milleteers to finish the season at 8-6. The 3-6 record vs playoff teams also included an embarrassing 0-5 record at home (0-2 vs Armena, 0-1 vs Bardo and 0-2 vs Leduc). The losses to Leduc were especially embarrassing as the first loss came via forfeit due to the lack of Rebels players and the second was a 7-0 beating by the Milleteers in a game which would have seen the Rebels jump into first place if they won. It was good enough for second place in the league but a quick first round elimination by the Armena Royals made it worth nothing.
Here is a look at how the Rebels have faired vs the rest of the PBL since 2009;
With the weather being the way it is currently and the start of the season in jeopardy due to the on again and off again snow/rain, the schedule might see a lot of games moved into the designated rainout dates throughout the season. Should the season get pushed back that extra rainout week in July, the Rebels would probably prefer some road games pushed back as they are 5-3-1 in July on the road compared to 2-3 at the Ryley Ballpark since 2009.
Of course it is senior men's baseball and the sample size is relatively small give there are only a total of four campaigns and sixty one total league games played in the short PBL seasons. But the teams should once again be looking at a seven to eight win season in a worst case scenario given the past four seasons and the new fourteen game schedule.
2013 Wins By Month Predictions Based on Rebels Monthly History
.450 May winning percentage = 3.15 wins in 2013 (3-4 record after May)
.630 June winning percentage = 3.15 wins in 2013 (6-6 record after June)
.535 July winning percentage = 1.07 wins in 2013 (7-7 record after July)
7.37 wins in 2013 (7-8 wins to post a 7-7 record or 8-6 record???)
A .500 record might not be the greatest goal a team can have, but it might be good enough to make the PBL Playoffs in 2013 as the league has seen a total of five teams (31.25% of playoff teams) since 2009 make the playoffs with either a .500 or sub .500 record. The only exception was in 2010 when two really bad teams in the Tofield Lakers and Armena Royals combined for only five wins between them leaving the top four teams three games above .500 or better. In fact between 2000 and 2012, the only three seasons saw the playoffs without a .500 or below team, 2002, 2004 and 2010.
Who was the worst team to make the PBL Playoffs? It appears that the worst team to make the playoffs was the 2008 Ryley Brewers who finished with a horrible 6-9 record (.400 winning percentage) and were eliminated in the first round. The worst team to make the playoffs and have any kind of success was last years .467 (7-8) Armena Royals who were a game away from the PBL Championship after defeating the Ryley Rebels 2-0 in round one. Here are some of the other bottom teams that finished either fourth or even third in the standings to earn a trip to the playoffs (based on winning percentage);
2008 - Ryley Brewers .400 (6-9) - Lost in First Round
2005 - Ryley Brewers .406 (6-9-1) - Lost in First Round
2006 - Camrose Roadrunners .409 (4-6-1) - Lost in First Round
2007 - Ryley Brewers .458 (5-6-1) - Lost in First Round
2003 - Bardo Athletics .458 (5-6-1) - Lost in First Round
2012 - Armena Royals .467 (7-8) - Lost in PBL Championship
2012 - Bardo Athletics .467 (7-8) - Lost in First Round
2009 - Bardo Athletics .469 (7-8-1) - Lost in PBL Championship
2009 - Ryley Rebels .469 (7-8-1) - Lost in First Round
2005 - Bardo Athletics .469 (7-8-1) - Lost in First Round
2011 - Ryley Rebels .500 (8-8) - Lost in First Round
2007 - Bardo Athletics .500 (6-6) - Lost in First Round
2001 - Armena Royals .500 (7-7) - Lost in First Round
2000 - Bardo Athletics .500 (7-7) - Lost in First Round
2000 - Armena Royals .500 (7-7) - Lost in First Round
The 2008 Ryley Brewers did not score a run in two games vs the Camrose Roadrunners in their semi-final series. The only two teams who were .500 or less to make it to the PBL Championship ('12 Royals & '09 Athletics) both pushed the final to a third and deciding game against the Leduc Milleteers.
But on the other side of the standings spectrum the team that has won the PBL Pennant has won the PBL Championship a total of six times out of the thirteen seasons between 2000-2012.
2000 - Camrose Roadrunners .786 (11-3) - Lost in PBL Final
2001 - Bardo Athletics .821 (11-2-1) - Lost in PBL Final
2002 - Ryley Brewers .733 (10-3-2) - Lost in PBL Final
2003 - Armena Axemen .750 (9-3) - Won PBL Championship
2004 - Armena Axemen .781 (12-3-1) - Won PBL Championship
2005 - Camrose Colts .867 (13-2) - Won PBL Championship
2006 - Armena Axemen .667 (8-4) - Lost in PBL Final
2007 - Armena Axemen .750 (9-3) - Lost in PBL Final
2008 - Camrose Roadrunners .800 (12-3) - Lost in PBL Final
2009 - Camrose Roadrunners .813 (13-2) - Lost in First Round
2010 - Leduc Milleteers .767 (11-3-1) - Won PBL Championship
2011 - Leduc Milleteers .857 (12-2) - Won PBL Championship
2012 - Leduc Milleteers .733 (11-4) - Won PBL Championship
In 2013 the Rebels will once again set their sights on a PBL Pennant with the hope of advancing in the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season when they defeated the Holden Blue Jays to make it to the PBL Championship vs the Leduc Milleteers. There are no guarantees in baseball as a game can change on a single pitch. But that is what makes baseball fun.
The journey begins on May 11 against the Bardo Athletics.