The Springfield Isotopes and Boulder Tree Huggers have advanced to the league semifinals, ousting the South Grand Prairie Warriors and Destin Beach Bums, respectively.
No. 3 Springfield required six games in order to move on, while No. 4 Boulder recorded four straight wins after dropping a 14-inning opening game.
Next up: Springfield gets a rematch with No. 2 New New York, which earned a first-round bye with a Game 161 victory over Springfield; while Boulder challenges No. 1 seed Superior in a son-father matchup of John and Mike Renbarger.
Springfield advanced in one of the most exciting ways possible — a walkoff victory in the bottom of the ninth in front of the home fans, on back-to-back solo homers. Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Chris Davis and Stephen Vogt went deep consecutively to push the Isotopes into the next round. Springfield, managed by Dave LaMont, held a 6-4 edge over the Hypnotoads during the regular season, but New New York and rookie manager Jason Renbarger did win the single-game playoff that broke the tie for which team earned the first-round bye.
Boulder never trailed in Games 2-5 as Mike Trout went on a tear, eliminating the Beach Bums after manager Mark Gergel’s first playoff appearance.
West Division rivals Boulder and Superior hooked up 15 times during the regular season, with Superior holding a commanding 11-4 edge, including 4-1 dominations in both August and October. Based on managerial experience, Vegas oddsmakers like both the Titans and Isotopes to advance to the I-75 League’s 37th World Series.