Hawks control their postseason destiny

The Hawks can clinch an NWL playoff berth on their annual extended road trip.

clangrill@idahostatesman.comAugust 16, 2013 


    Boise tagged Eugene starter Vladimir De La Cruz for six runs in 22⁄3 innings, and Dillon Maples threw five shutout frames in the Hawks' 8-3 victory Thursday night.

    Maples (5-0) struck out nine and allowed just one hit, and his ERA dropped to 0.96.

— Last season, the Boise Hawks clinched a Northwest League playoff berth on their road trip that coincides with the Western Idaho Fair.

Manager Gary Van Tol wouldn't mind a repeat during the team's 11-game road swing that begins Friday at Tri-City.

"We have a chance to actually clinch on the road like we did last year," Van Tol said. "The nice thing about something like that is, we can come back those last six (home) games and get everything in line for the playoffs.

"That would be great if it happens that way, but I don't want to get too far ahead right now."

Who knows? Maybe the Hawks will face a situation similar to 2011, when they clinched on the final day of the regular season.

The Hawks have a 13-8 second-half record after Thursay's victory over Eugene. Boise trails Salem-Keizer by one game, but the Hawks can finish behind the Volcanoes and advance.

Salem-Keizer won the South Division first-half title. If it wins the second half, the team with the next-best overall record moves on. Boise has an 12-game cushion over Eugene and Hillsboro in the division's overall standings with 17 to play.

It comes down to two scenarios for Boise: Keep winning (the Hawks have won 8-of-9) and secure the second-half title, or win a little bit and still qualify for the playoffs.

"We control our own destiny," Van Tol said. "It's a good position to be in."

Infielder Danny Lockhart said he and his teammates will be disappointed if this year's team doesn't make some noise in the postseason.

"We're definitely focused on making the playoffs and winning the ring this year," Lockhart said. "We know we have the guys who can do it."

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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