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Phinley, LouSeal have eyes on belt
Fans voting in final round to decide Mascot Mania champ
08/05/2013 5:38 PM ET
Clearwater's Phinley and Columbus' LouSeal are among the early leaders in the final round.
Clearwater's Phinley and Columbus' LouSeal are among the early leaders in the final round. 

The battle, appropriately, is between a shark and a seal. 

Clearwater mascot Phinley kicked off the final round of Mascot Mania voting with a healthy lead among the 14 finalists vying for a championship belt as fans help decide the best mascot in Minor League Baseball. Phinley and Columbus mascot LouSeal currently rank No. 1 and 2 in the poll, with each garnering at least 20 percent of the vote.

Savannah's Gnate the Gnat ranks No. 3, Erie's C. Wolf is No. 4, Fresno's Parker is No. 5 and Pensacola's Kazoo comes in at No. 6 after five days of voting.

Phinley, who was the South Region of 2012 Mascot Mania, can smell victory already. Citing this week -- the widely popular Shark Week on Discovery -- as being his "phavorite" week, Phinley tweeted to this supporters on Monday afternoon: "Feeding Frenzy? More like a Voting Frenzy! Keep it up gang we are on the way to Victory!"

But as any Shark Week viewer knows, seals don't ever go down without a fight. LouSeal, who received the most votes of all 160 mascots during League Round voting, has also seen strong support. Using a Twitter hashtag of #SealTheDeal, the Clippers mascot took a direct shot at sharks last week:

Early first-round leader Gnate the Gnat is within striking distance, but it'll take a bigger push for C. Wolf and friends to take a bite out of Phinley.

Other finals contenders include Peoria's Homer, Princeton's Roscoe, Myrtle Beach's Splash Pelican, Hillsboro's Barley, Aberdeen's Ferrous, Great Falls' Orbit, San Jose's Gigante and San Antonio's Ballapeno.

Championship Round voting ends Thursday, Aug. 8, at noon ET. Fans can vote on MiLB.com and on Twitter by following @MiLB and tweeting #MascotMania along with the Twitter handle of the team whose mascot they'd like to vote for.

When fans vote online or via Twitter, they can also enter for a chance to win a 2014 MLB.TV Premium subscription, a 2014 MiLB.TV yearly subscription, gift certificates for the MLB and MiLB shops and a mascot prize pack, among other prizes.

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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