The Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, won the International League West Division on Monday and finished the season tied for the best record in the league at 83-61.
The Clippers tied with division-rival Indianapolis Indians, but won the tiebreaker by winning the regular season series 11-10.
A large reason for the Clippers’ success this season has been their dominance at home. They tied with the Rochester Red Wings for the best home record in the league by winning 45 games while dropping only 27 at Huntington Park.
The Clippers also won the division a year ago, but lost to the Durham Bulls in the first round. The team is looking to reclaim the Governor’s Cup, which goes to the winner of the International League. It last took home the cup in back-to-back seasons in 2010 and 2011.
Outfielder James Ramsey, who was with the Clippers during the 2014 postseason, said he believes that having a mix of postseason veterans and newcomers will be helpful as the playoffs get underway.
“Any time you’re playing in the postseason, experience helps,” Ramsey said. “We have a decent number of guys that were here last year, but there’s a lot of new faces which I think also can help because sometimes the less you know the better in these heightened situations. You can just go and play your game like it’s a normal one.”
The Clippers will face the South Division champion Norfolk Tides in Norfolk, Virginia, on Wednesday in the first game of a best-of-five semifinal series.
Clippers manager Chris Tremie said he wants to carry on the success his team has had this season into the playoffs.
“It’s been a team effort,” Tremie said. “They play to win . . . and they do the little things in the game that help you at the end of the game be in a position to win it.”
Columbus is scheduled to open the postseason with two games in Norfolk on Wednesday and Thursday before returning home to Huntington Park for Game 3 on Friday night. Games 4 and 5 would each be played in Columbus, if necessary.