In what has been a school year full of crazy tiebreaking possibilities, the FCIAC saved its best for last. With one game left in the regular season, just five of the eight baseball league playoff berths has been secured (it would have been four if New Canaan had not scored seven runs in the seventh inning yesterday to beat Trumbull).
The only certainties right now is that Staples will be the No. 1 seed, St. Joseph the No. 2 seed and New Canaan, Darien and Trumbull have all secured berths.
The five teams in contention for the final three spots are: Fairfield Ludlowe, Fairfield Warde, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Westhill.
For now, we are going to focus on the tiebreaking scenarios if there is a four- or five-team tie for the final three berths. This is all under the assumption that Greenwich beats Bassick. And that Ridgefield defeats Warde, which is bad for the Mustangs, but would make our lives easier untangling this web.
First, here are how the five teams fared head to head:
Fairfield Ludlowe: Beat Westhill and Greenwich; lost to Fairfield Warde and Ridgefield.
Fairfield Warde: Beat Westhill and Fairfield Ludlowe; lost to Greenwich and Westhill.
Greenwich: Beat Fairfield Warde and Ridgefield; lost to Fairfield Ludlowe and Westhill.
Ridgefield: Beat Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe; lost to Westhill and Greenwich.
Westhill: Beat Ridgefield and Greenwich; lost to Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe.
Here are the possible scenarios:
In a five-team tie at 11-7, incredibly all five teams are 2-2 against each other. The next tiebreaker is which team beat the highest seed. Fairfield Warde beat No. 1 Staples and thus would be the sixth seed. Then you go to a four-team tiebreaker. Fairfield Ludlowe and Westhill would both be 2-1 and Ludlowe defeated Westhill. So the final three seeds would be:
6. Fairfield Warde, 7. Fairfield Ludlowe, 8. Westhill
4-team tiebreaker with Westhill winning and Fairfield Ludlowe losing:
In a four-team tiebreaker with Fairfield Warde, Greenwich, Westhill and Ridgefield, both Westhill and Greenwich are 2-1, and Westhill beat Greenwich. Fairfield Warde and Ridgefield are then tied for the 8th spot, and Ridgefield beat Warde. So the final three seeds would be:
6. Westhill, 7. Greenwich, 8. Ridgefield
4-team tiebreaker with Fairfield Ludlowe winning and Westhill losing:
In a four-team tiebreaker with Fairfield Ludlowe, Fairfield Warde, Greenwich and Ridgefield, both Greenwich and Ridgefield are 2-1, and Greenwich beat Ridgefield. Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde are tied for the 8th spot, and Warde beat Ludlowe. So the final three seeds would be:
6. Greenwich, 7. Ridgefield, 8. Fairfield Warde.
With all the attention at the bottom, we seem to have forgotten about the jockeying for the 3rd, 4th and 5th seeds with New Canaan, Darien and Trumbull (and possibly the 6th, with a Warde win).
In the make-our-lives easiest scenario, New Canaan is the No. 3 seed with a win over Fairfield Ludlowe, Darien the No. 4 seed with a win over Stamford and a New Canaan win, and Trumbull the No. 5 seed with wins by all three schools. New Canaan has the tiebreaker over both schools and Darien the tiebreaker over Trumbull. So if just two of the three teams win, New Canaan would have the higher seed over both schools and Darien over Trumbull for the 3rd and 4th seeds.
Now if any of the three teams lose and Warde wins, there will be a tie among teams with six league losses. It is even possible (please, no) that there could be a four-way tie if Warde wins and the other three teams lose.
A quick breakdown:
New Canaan: Beat Trumbull, Darien and Warde.
Darien: Beat Trumbull; lost to New Canaan and Warde.
Fairfield Warde: Beat Darien; lost to New Canaan and Trumbull.
Trumbull: Beat Warde; lost to Darien and New Canaan.
Two team tiebreakers are easy, just look who beat whom.
3-team tiebreakers between the schools involving Warde:
New Canaan, Trumbull and Warde: 4. New Canaan, 5. Trumbull, 6. Warde.
New Canaan, Darien and Warde: 4. New Canaan, 5. Warde, 6. Darien.
Darien, Trumbull and Warde: 4. Warde (all 1-1, beat top-seeded Staples), 5. Darien, 6. Trumbull.
4-team tiebreaker with New Canaan, Darien, Trumbull and Warde:
3. New Canaan (3-1 head to head), 4. Warde, 5. Darien, 6. Trumbull (last three following above scenario)
Tiebreakers for final two seeds if Warde and Greenwich (over Bassick) win:
If Warde wins, there could be as many as four teams tied for the final two spots, with Fairfield Ludlowe, Westhill, Greenwich and Ridgefield.
If all four teams tie or there is a three-way tie including Ludlowe and Westhill, Ludlowe is the 7th seed and Westhill the 8th seed. In a three-way tie with Ludlowe-Greenwich-Ridgefield, the seeds would be: 7. Greenwich (all teams 1-1, Greenwich beat highest seed, St. Joseph), 8. Ridgefield (beat Ludlowe). In a three-way tie with Westhill-Greenwich-Ridgefield, the seeds would be: 7. Westhill (2-0), 8. Greenwich (beat Ridgefield).
If somehow Warde wins and Ludlowe, Westhill and Ridgefield all lose, and Danbury wins to create a four-way tie for the last spot…it is all too confusing and would be completely fitting. Ludlowe would win the tiebreaker.
All of which makes the prospects of the FCIAC Tournament and single-elimination all the more welcome.