Prior to the trip to Wellington and Hays, I believed that the Bee Jays would need an 18-16 record to reach the NBC World Series, and I still believe that is the case.
Chances are that a lesser record could still receive an invitation, but I would rather not leave the Bee Jays fate up to chance.
Any team that can turn in a winning record by two games in the Jayhawk League has earned a right to compete at the NBC World Series.
It was my hope that Liberal would have won two out of three from Wellington and split with Hays, but the two road losses have not changed the possibility of an 18-16 record.
But there simply is no room for error now.
Liberal needed to sweep the final six games of the league season, and they have started 2-0 on that quest.
The next three games are absolutely critical, and they will define this season.
Liberal already has a 4-4 record against first-place Hays. If they can sweep the Broncos they will finish 3-3 against the second-place team.
A final victory over Dodge City after the series with El Dorado would give the Bee Jays an 18-16 record.
If the Bee Jays were able to sweep El Dorado, the Broncos would be 16-14, two games above .500, and they still have four games to play. They have two against Wellington, one against Hays and one against Derby. If they were to go 2-2 in those games, they would be tied with the Bee Jays. If they were to do worse, Liberal would be in the top three without a tie.
And that means an automatic invitation to the NBC World Series.
A sweep is always difficult, but El Dorado swept Liberal in three one-run games. It is not like the Broncos are untouchable.
This should be a fun weekend at Brent Gould Field. There is a lot at stake, there will be some great give-aways, and the most tradition-rich team in the Jayhawk League will need to play up to its storied past for the 2013 edition to write their own chapter.
And you can say you were there when it happened.
I’ll see you at the ball park.