Trash Pandas clinch playoff spot with first-half division championship

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The Trash Pandas clinched their division’s first-half championship over the weekend. (Michael Seale / Hville Blast)

Trash Pandas fans are guaranteed at least a few extra games to follow at the end of the regular season this year, as the team secured a post-season birth by winning the North Division first-half championship.

The victory Sunday over Montgomery gives the Trash Pandas a spot in the Southern League playoffs, set to begin at the conclusion of the regular season in late September.

An incredible first half

The win Sunday improves the Trash Pandas record to 39-24, 15 games above .500 for the first time in franchise history. (Rocket City Trash Pandas)

The win Sunday improves the Trash Pandas record to 39-24, 15 games above .500 for the first time in franchise history while also closing out the first half with an incredible 25-11 record at home at Toyota Field.

After jumping out to a 3-0 start following a sweep in Birmingham to start the season in April, the Trash Pandas led the North Division from nearly start to finish, never falling more than three games out of first place for the duration of the half.

Rocket City outfielder Orlando Martinez was named Southern League Player of the Week for the period ending on Sunday, June 19. The award gives the Trash Pandas six Southern League weekly awards over the first 10 weeks of the season and their second Player of the Week after Trey Cabbage earned the honors on May 1. The other four awards were Pitchers of the Week, with Brett Kerry (April 17), Chase Silseth (April 24), and Coleman Crow (May 22 and June 12).

Playoff bound

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The Trash Pandas will begin the 2022 Southern League Playoffs on the road. (Michael Seale / Hville Blast)

So how do the Southern League Playoffs work? Well, beginning June 26, all teams’ records go back to 0-0. The playoffs begin at the end of the second half of the season in September, which will feature first and second half winners (four total teams) from each division.

The playoffs will start on September 20th — the Trash Pandas will play Game 1 on the road, followed by a Game 2 and Game 3 (if necessary) at Toyota Field on September 22nd and 23rd.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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