HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – The Coastal Plain League has announced its schedule for the 2012 summer season. After a second successful season, the Morehead City Marlins will once again take the field at Big Rock Stadium in hopes of capturing its first Petitt Cup Championship.
Marlins new manager Brian McRae and his team will open the season on the road against the Wilmington Sharks on Tuesday, May 29th. The Marlins home opener is scheduled the following night Wednesday, May 30th against the Edenton Steamers. The regular season concludes on Thursday, August 2nd at Big Rock Stadium with the Petitt Cup Playoffs beginning shortly after.
All together, each team will play a 56-game regular season schedule, with 28 games per club in the first half and another 28 in the second half. Like in 2011, the schedule will have a large concentration on divisional games but will also feature an unbalanced look. The Marlins will look to add an exhibition game or two during the summer as well.
For the first time since 2001, the league will be comprised of two divisions – the East and the West – that will feature seven teams in each. The newly formed East will be made up of the Edenton Steamers, Fayetteville SwampDogs, Morehead City Marlins, Peninsula Pilots, Petersburg Generals, Wilmington Sharks and Wilson Tobs. Meanwhile, the West will again feature the Asheboro Copperheads, Forest City Owls, Gastonia Grizzlies, Martinsville Mustangs and Thomasville HiToms, as well as the additions of the Columbia Blowfish and Florence RedWolves.
The Petitt Cup Playoffs will again consist of three rounds beginning on August 4th and running through August 14th. In all, eight CPL teams will make the postseason, including three first half and second half champions for both divisions, with the remaining teams qualifying as at-large bids. Seeding will be based on overall winning percentage at the end of the season with the team with the best winning percentage earning the top seed and so forth. Each series through all three rounds will be a best-of-three series. The lower seed (i.e. seeds 5-8) in each series will host game one, while the higher seed (i.e. seeds 1-4) will host game two and three (if necessary) in each round.
After the first round, the four remaining teams will match-up based on seeds, so if the top four seeds all advance to the second round, then the series would be No.1 vs. No.4 and No.2 vs. No.3. The two winners of those second round series will advance to the Petitt Cup Championship Series with the same rules applying as in the second round. The team winning two games in this series will be crowned the 2012 Coastal Plain League Petitt Cup Champion.