|Written by Jacke Finne|
Jul. 9, 2019
With the past two series that we were able to complete this weekend, we are exactly a third of the way through the regular season, in terms of series that we have completed. The Ironmen have been able to play half their season already, and the Hillcats and the Crusaders have been able to complete a third of their season. To be halfway through the season, the Nighthawks need to play against the Hillcats and the Crusaders.
During the third of the regular season that we have played, we have had some great games, including two that have gone to six innings. The Ironmen came out victorious in both of the games that have gone to extras. The Crusaders made history as the first team to sweep a series, when they won three out of a possible three games against the Hillcats this past Monday. The Hillcats grabbed the first series win in IWL History against the Ironmen.
With all of that said, it's about time that we have our first in-season power rankings.
- Circle City Crusaders (5-1): With the added incentive of being on the bubble in the most recent batch of NWLA National Rankings, Connor Whaley has led the Crusaders to an amazing start. In the Crusaders' first game against the Ironmen, the Crusaders won, 3-1, after Whaley pitched 9 strikeouts – the most in IWL History. Even though the Ironmen beat the Crusaders in the second game of the series, the Crusaders have since gone on a four-game winning streak, including a series sweep against the Hillcats. The Crusaders have been breaking records and making history left and right. In Game 1 against the Hillcats, Whaley pitched the first no-hitter in IWL History, even though he allowed two runs. Additionally, the Crusaders signed the first female in IWL History to a permanent contract. The Crusaders are off to a hot start, and there isn't a lot that could extinguish them at the moment. Expected Record: 15-3 – Previous Ranking: 1st (–)
- Indy Ironmen (4-5): After a 4-5 start to the season, the Ironmen have had trouble completing games. During Game 3 against the Hillcats, the Ironmen lost on a walkoff by Jack Marshall. During Game 3 against the Nighthawks, the Ironmen gave up two runs, due to an error and a solo shot, respectively. During Game 1 against the Crusaders, the Ironmen gave up a three-run home run that ended up being the nail in the coffin. There have been at least two games where the Ironmen could've have won, but have failed to do so due to errors on the field. However, during the last half of the season, the Ironmen have the chance to make a run at the red-hot Crusaders. Jake Fine has all the right stepping stones in place, it's just a matter of being able to close out games and using all of his players to their full potential. The Ironmen also have the easier way out throughout the rest of the season, as 2 of their 3 remaining series are at home. Through 12 games, the home team has won 3 out of the 4 series. However, if the Ironmen can't figure it out, the second half of the season could be another bumpy ride. Expected Record: 8-10 – Previous Ranking: 2nd (–)
- Hoosier State Hillcats (2-4): If it weren't for being swept against the Crusaders, the Hillcats would definitely be second in the power rankings. The series win against the Ironmen was impressive, and Grady Hadar was able to lead them to a solid start. However, this past series against the Crusaders was something else. To put things in perspective, the Hillcats weren't at their best coming in. They were without their best player in Jack Marshall, and Lawrence Coan had been suffering from a hamstring injury that he picked up during a hiking trip. Even with that said, it was a disappointing performance for the Hillcats against the Crusaders. In both of the first two games, the Hillcats had a chance to grab wins. However, both games were choked away after consecutive 5-run 3rd innings. Simalarily to the Ironmen, even with the most recent performance against the Crusaders, the Hillcats have everything in place to make a run for first, if they are able to get a series win against the Nighthawks. Expected Record: 6-12 – Previous Ranking: 4th (▲1)
- Naptown Nighthawks (1-2): With one completed series to base the Nighthawks off of, there's not a lot we're going off of. The Nighthawks were able to compete with the Ironmen in the first game, but then they were shellacked in the second game. However, they were able to grab their first win against the Ironmen in Game 3. As aforementioned, other than the one series against the Ironmen, there isn't a lot to go off of. Expected Record: 6-12 – Previous Ranking: 3rd (▼1)
|Circle City Crusaders||5||1||-||0-0||.833||23||16||+7||2-1||3-0||W4||0-0|
|Hoosier State Hillcats||2||4||3||0-1||.333||26||34||-8||2-4||0-0||L3||0-0|