2022 Washington Wild Things vs Schaumburg Boomers

2022 Frontier League Playoffs Continuing Season's Excitement

2022 Frontier League Playoffs Continuing Season's Excitement

The independent Frontier League produced incredible action during the 2022 season, and the postseason has been no different.

Sep 9, 2022 by Mike Ashmore
2022 Frontier League Playoffs Continuing Season's Excitement

We are approaching the final Frontier, so to speak.

As you've seen all season exclusively on FloBaseball, the independent Frontier League produced incredible action during the regular season, and the postseason has been no different.

The Schaumburg Boomers pulled out a unique, two-day win over the Evansville Otters to win the West Division Wild Card game on Wednesday afternoon. The game had been suspended the night before due to an issue with the stadium's lights.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Titans dominated the New York Boulders on Wednesday night on the East Division side of the bracket to set the stage for what should be a wildly entertaining pair of Division Series.

Both are set to get underway exclusively on FloBaseball, starting Friday night.

Schaumburg Vs. Washington

Divisional Series - West

Friday, Sept. 9 - Washington @ Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. EDT

Saturday, Sept. 10 - travel/rain day

Sunday, Sept. 11 - Schaumburg @ Washington, 6:05 p.m. EDT

Monday, Sept. 12 - Schaumburg @ Washington, 6:05 p.m. EDT (if necessary)

The defending league champion Boomers went an entire day without scoring in a winner-take-all playoff game and still advanced.

It has been that kind of run for Schaumburg, which continues after defeating Evansville, 5-1, to move on in the postseason. 

They scored all five of their runs Tuesday night in the first two innings, prior to the game being suspended, with the big damage coming on a two-run homer by one-time major-league first-round draft pick Braxton Davidson. It broke the game open in the second.

Though the Boomers offense has been up and down through the year, their .265 average as a team was good for just ninth-best in the league, although they were second with a whopping 444 walks and easily led the circuit with 41 triples, thanks in large part to Chase Dawson's league-record 24 - they're capable of going off at any time with a deep, balanced lineup.

They went 4-5 during the regular season series against the Wild Things, who pulled away with the West Division pennant with a 62-34 record, finishing 8.5 games up on the Boomers.

Washington enters the postseason hot, winner of its last six games, and likely will throw former major-leaguer Rob Whalen, who led the league with 12 wins, in Game 1.  

Their lineup also is a potent and experienced one, featuring four of the circuit's top hitters in Nick Ward (.349), Wagner Lagrange (.346), Scotty Dubrule (.317) and Andrew Czech (.304).

It very well may come down to the pitching in a short series.

Schaumburg leads the league with a 9.89 K/9, while Washington's staff has been able to keep the ball in the yard as a whole, allowing only 80 home runs this season, good for third-best in the league.

Ottawa Vs. Quebec

Divisional Series - East

Friday, Sept. 9 - Quebec @ Ottawa, 6:30 p.m. EDT

Saturday, Sept. 10 - Ottawa @ Quebec, 7:05 p.m. EDT

Sunday, Sept. 11 - Ottawa @ Quebec, 5:05 p.m. EDT (if necessary)

There will be a Canadian team represented in the Frontier League Championship Series.

But which one?

After the Titans soundly defeated the Boulders, 8-2, in Wednesday night's East Division Wild Card game, they advanced to the Division Finals, where they'll take on the Quebec Capitales, who were largely the class of the indy circuit this season, finishing tied with the Wild Things for the league's best record with a 62-34 mark.

Quebec narrowly took the season series against Ottawa, 7-5, but they won just one of the three games they played in the year-ending slate, played in Quebec between Sept. 3-5, in what ultimately was a preview of sorts for the second round of the postseason.

The Capitales got here largely on pitching. Their staff ERA of 3.50 led the Frontier League by nearly a half a run this regular season. The team also issued the second-fewest walks and allowed the fifth-fewest home runs in the league. 

Miguel Cienfuegos, who allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings in his last regular season outing against the New Jersey Jackals on Sept. 1, is a strong candidate for the Frontier League's Pitcher of the Year honors after posting a team-high 10 wins and microscopic 1.79 ERA over his 21 starts.

Ottawa starter Zac Westcott, who held the Boulders to just two runs in 7 2/3 innings on Wednesday night and was last year's runner-up for the Pitcher of the Year award, potentially could be available to pitch on short rest, if the series gets to a decisive third game in Quebec on Sunday night.

Offensively, both teams are in the middle of the pack.

Ottawa's .281 batting average was good for sixth-best in the league, while Quebec wasn't far behind with a .275 mark that had them in eighth.  

But, both teams are in the top four in fewest strikeouts at the plate, while the Capitales have excelled in the power department this year, hitting a combined 116 home runs in just 96 team games, though 74 of those came from the prolific duo of David Glaude and Jeffry Parra and from the 2-3-4 spots in the lineup.

Including their wild card round game win, however, the Titans have won 10 of their last 11 games, getting hot at exactly the right time, and creating the dynamic for what should be a very interesting postseason series.