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Carolina League cutting playoff season short due to Hurricane Irma

(Down East Wood Ducks photo)

KINSTON, Lenoir County - One way or another, the Down East Wood Ducks' season ends after Friday night.

The Carolina League announced Friday it will cancel the rest of the 2017 League Championship Series after Friday's games due to Hurricane Irma. The winner of the games between the Down East Wood Ducks and Myrtle Beach Pelicans along with the Frederick Keys and Lynchburg Hillcats will be named co-league champs.

A statement from the Carolina League office and president John Hopkins about the decision reads:

"With powerful Hurricane Irma approaching the continental US, the Carolina League has decided to cancel the 2017 Mills Cup Championship Series. This comes by agreement of the four postseason clubs.

"This was not an easy decision. 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 weekend's first round."

The Wood Ducks and Pelicans were originally scheduled to play a best-of-5 series, with the winner facing the winner of the series between Frederick and Lynchburg. Both series were then cut down to best-of-3 due to rainouts.

The is the first time there will be co-champs since 1999 when Hurricane Floyd forced the Mills Cup final to be canceled. Myrtle Beach and Wilmington shared the title.

The Wood Ducks and Pelicans were scheduled to play Game 2 Friday at 5:05 p.m. with a third game to follow if Myrtle Beach wins. Down East holds a 1-0 series lead after Thursday's 4-1 win.

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