After a year without the Ban Johnson Collegiate League playoffs, a familiar name at the top of the league stepped up to claim its first postseason title in 16 years.
BJ Raiders defeated the Creche Innovations Stars in three games in the league championship series, the Raiders’ first postseason title since 2005. The four-time defending Ban Johnson regular-season champions were knocked out of the playoffs in 2018 and 2019 and had no playoffs to contend for in 2020.
Dominant throughout the summer, the Raiders finished with a league-best record of 26-5, including the playoffs, with league-bests in both runs scored (211) and runs allowed (95).
The Raiders nabbed both of the co-MVP awards for the championship series. Right-handed pitcher Chandler Ashby, a Park Hill grad currently at Emporia State, threw a complete game in the Raiders’ decisive 4-1 Game 3 win, allowing one run and one hit with 12 strikeouts. Raiders’ first baseman/designated hitter Frankie Circello, a Staley grad now at Crowder College, hit 4 for 10 with a home run, three doubles and six RBIs in the championship series.
The Ban Johnson league, a summer collegiate wood-bat league with teams based in the Kansas City area, will play its annual All-Star Game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. Admission is free and fans may enter beginning at 6:30.