WEYMOUTH, Mass. (August 7, 2022) -- The 2022 Futures League Playoffs are set!
Two established postseason teams and two first-time qualifiers make up the league’s four-team playoff field as the Vermont Lake Monsters, New Britain Bees, Nashua Silver Knights and Westfield Starfires will all compete for the championship this week.
A pair of best-of-three semifinal series will commence on Monday, August 8, with the two winners meeting in another best-of-three round for the championship immediately following. The higher-seeded team will host the first and, if necessary, third game in both rounds.
Here is the schedule for both semifinal series:
No. 1 Vermont Lake Monsters (44-19) vs. No. 4 Westfield Starfires (30-33)
Monday, August 8 - 6:35 p.m. - Centennial Field/Burlington, Vt.
Tuesday, August 9 - 6:30 p.m. - Bullens Field/Westfield, Mass.
Wednesday, August 10 - 6:35 p.m. (if necessary) - Centennial Field/Burlington, Vt.
No. 2 New Britain Bees (37-26) vs. No. 3 Nashua Silver Knights (33-29)
Monday, August 8 - 6:35 p.m. - New Britain Stadium/New Britain, Conn.
Tuesday, August 9 - 6 p.m. - Holman Stadium/Nashua, N.H.
Wednesday, August 10 - 6:35 p.m. (if necessary) - New Britain Stadium/New Britain, Conn.
In their second Futures League season, the Lake Monsters broke their own single-season record for victories, finishing with a 44-19 record and a seven-game edge at the top of the standings. After locking up the top seed for the second straight season, Vermont will have home-field advantage in Burlington throughout the playoffs.
Vermont’s road to a repeat title will feature exclusively new opponents after it edged out the Worcester Bravehearts and Pittsfield Suns to win the league crown in 2021. Prior to last summer, a Centennial Field-based franchise had not won a postseason championship since 1996.
The race for the fourth and final playoff berth came down to Sunday’s penultimate game of the regular season. After New Britain untied the score with three runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Westfield Starfires scored four to walk off and secure the first-ever playoff berth for the fourth-year franchise. Westfield earned the spot by virtue of winning the head-to-head season series against Norwich Sea Unicorns, who had an identical 30 wins.
Vermont won seven of its 12 regular-season meetings with Westfield. All of the wins in the series came in Burlington.
New Britain surged into the No. 2 slot by winning seven of its final eight regular-season games and will host the first postseason game at New Britain Stadium since 2009 on Monday night. Bees skipper Matt Gedman is no stranger to leading teams to new heights after his Pittsfield team made the Suns franchise’s first-ever championship series appearance last year.
No team has won more Futures League championships than third-seeded Nashua, which is seeking its sixth-ever and second in the last three summers. The Silver Knights missed the playoffs for the first time ever in 2021, but they recovered from a 4-13 start to win nine straight games and 13 of 14 from June 28 to July 14 to turn this season around.
Nashua is 21-8 in all-time postseason games, having improved that league-best mark by beating Worcester in a three-game title series in 2020.
The Bees won five of the seven head-to-head meetings between the teams this summer, though both of Nashua’s wins in the series came at New Britain Stadium.
For the latest Futures League news and information throughout the year, visit thefuturesleague.com and follow the league’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.