Coming into the final three games of CSA’s playoff tournament with each game a win or go home affair, Kana faced the only two teams that had beaten them during the regular season. At the forefront of this challenge was knowing that the road to victory went through IOTEC, which had dismantled Kana in their last regular season meeting and sent Kana down to the bottom playoff bracket in a 9-5 playoff defeat.
Known all season long as an offensive power, Kana’s bats were stifled by IOTEC’s defensive prowess and excellent base running in the last three games between the two teams. After repeatedly being held well below their season average on offense by IOTEC, Kana’s coaching staff opted to utilize a page from IOTEC’s playbook, and emphasized defense during the two championship contests.
To further this change of focus, Kana’s manager chose to forego the services of one of its top two hurlers on the mound and instead installed him exclusively behind the plate to prevent IOTEC’s smart and speedy base runners from advancing without hits, which secured Kana the championship.