Friday’s stakes were already high for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
But as a result of an announcement by the Carolina League front office, they have ramped up even higher.
With Hurricane Irma set to wreak havoc on the Southeastern U.S. this weekend, the 2017 Mills Cup Championship Series has been canceled. As a result, the winners of the Carolina League’s Northern and Southern division series will be named co-champions of the circuit.
”This was not an easy decision,” said John Hopkins, president of the Carolina League on Friday. ”While much remains uncertain with this storm, it seems clear that there will be major damage wherever it goes, as there already has been in some Caribbean nations. Our immediate area remains at risk, too.
”Our game has a number of people who call Florida and the Caribbean home. With the prospect of potentially devastating impact, it just felt right to call it a season after this weekends first round.”
It will be the first time the league has named co-champions since 1999, when the Mills Cup Championship Series was cancelled due to Hurricane Floyd. That year, the Pelicans shared the Carolina League title with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Speaking of Myrtle Beach, it is seeking to add a bit of history to its resume.
In pursuit of the club’s third straight league title, the Pelicans must defeat Down East twice to stake its claim to the crown. Myrtle Beach lost Game 1 of the best-of-3 series to the Wood Ducks, 4-1.
As for the Northern Division championship, Frederick can claim its share of the Carolina League championship by earning a win over Lynchburg on Friday night.