Late night of baseball starts tourneyIn the dark of night, the first day of play in the Class B state amateur baseball tournament finally came to an end. At 2:58 a.m., to be exact.
By: Marcus Traxler, The Daily Republic
In the dark of night, the first day of play in the Class B state amateur baseball tournament finally came to an end.
At 2:58 a.m., to be exact.
A three-hour rain delay followed by back-to-back extra inning games meant the last out recorded at Cadwell Park for Wednesday’s opening round games came Thursday morning.
South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association President Dale Weber said, despite the rains, the tournament couldn’t afford to slow down on the first night of the tournament.
“We just had to get them in,” said Weber, a Salem resident. “We wanted to keep playing if we could.”
With four games scheduled for Thursday, Weber said carrying the games over into an already full slate would have been impractical. He said the teams wanted to play too, making the decision easier.
The opening game between Colman and Wynot, Neb., was flying right along, with three innings in the books in 30 minutes before the storms arrived and the players left the field at 6:38 p.m.
The grounds crew, which just received a new tarp for Cadwell Park Wednesday, couldn’t put it down because of the high winds, relying on single tarps for the home plate area and the pitcher’s mound.
“The field held up well and the grounds crew did a good job getting the field ready,” said Bob Altenburg, commissioner for Region 8B out of Winner.
The two teams finally returned to action at 9:38 p.m., after a delay of exactly three hours and played a low-scoring game after nine innings, tied at 1. Players from Redfield Dairy Queen and Madison went back over to Drake Field to continue warming up, growing restless as the first game continued. Finally, Wynot scratched across a run in the 11th inning for 2-1 win.
Officials left 10 minutes between games for the grounds crew to take the field and rake the infield before the second game started.
Madison was cruising with a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth when Redfield Dairy Queen tied the game to force more extra frames. Madison pulled ahead for good with a three-run 12th inning and Chris Osborn’s groundout brought the long night to a close just before 3 a.m.
Luke Norden, who is serving as the official scorer for the entire tournament, was there until the bitter end. He said players handled the delay well for as late as the night became.
“The games were very well-played and fun to watch. But it did get late,” Norden said.
Weber said there was a game about seven years ago that started at 3 a.m. because of weather and a tight schedule.
Despite slowing down the state tournament for a night, Weber said he had no problem postponing baseball if it meant the area would get some rain.
“We would have had the tournament six weeks ago if it would have meant we’d get some rain,” Weber said.