Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Impending doom washed big game off the books

The weather forecasts warned the south suburban area of thunderstorms tonight, but at around 7:30 at Burnsville’s Alimagnet Park all was clear for baseball.
An important game between Cannon Valley League powers Savage and Burnsville was to take place and did ... for about 50 minutes.

The top-ranked Outlaws (28-7, 12-3 CVL) trailed their second-ranked rival Bobcats (12-6, 10-4 CVL) by a 5-4 score as Burnsville’s Luke Hellquist grounded out to third base to end the third inning.

As Burnsville players took to the field for the top of the fourth, the home plate umpire called for Bobcats manager Robby Wiens. After a brief discussion Wiens told his club that the umps were calling for a delay and requested his players to tarp up the mound and home plate area.
Winds were swirling a bit and clouds were emitting a murky sense of impending doom, but the conditions were still dry and storm-free. Wiens explained that the head umpire thought there was a storm coming through but that it would pass through after 30-40 minutes and then the game could conclude the game afterward.

So instead of playing before the storm, players from both teams took to the field to chat about softball leagues and how the Twins crushed Zack Greinke and the Royals last night. The Outlaws and Bobcats were granted quite a bit of social time as the weather held up quite decently for about 30-40 minutes. Then the first drop of rain came and seconds later it began to pour.

Inevitably, roughly ten minutes later, the game was called.

CVL rules demand that 4 1/2 innings must be played to make it official. At the pace the game was going, that may have been possible. But it didn’t happen and thus the statistics from tonight will be washed out of the books and the game will be played anew this Thursday at the same time (7:30) on the same field (Alimagnet).

The game will be of high importance as Savage is up 1.5 games in the standings on Burnsville with just the one league game left to play. The Bobcats have two CVL games on its remaining schedule.

Savage would have sewn up the No. 1 seed in the CVL playoffs with a win, but now may not need to beat the Bobcats on Thursday. Burnsville must defeat Rosemount at Alimagnet Park tomorrow night, then beat Savage.

If the Bobcats succeed in their final two games, both them and Savage would have identical 12-4 league records, but Burnsville would take over the No. 1 seed by virtue of winning the head-to-head contests with Savage 2-1 (Savage defeated Burnsville 14-4 on May 26, Burnsville beat Savage 3-2 on July 22).

The CVL playoffs are set to begin this Sunday at Alimagnet Park.

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