For second time, rain cancels tourney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2002

Sports Editor

Heavy afternoon thunder showers saturated the Sportsplex on Wednesday, causing the Dixie Boys Sub-District Tournament to be pushed back for the second time in five days.

Two contests, a 13-year-old game featuring Troy against Greenville and a 14-year-old contest with Troy taking on Luverne, were cancelled because of standing water on both Field 5 and Field 6.

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Parts of both dirt infields were covered with water, but Troy Parks and Recreation Youth Sports Director Vaughn Daniels said the outfields were worse.

The rain hit Troy a little before 3 p.m. and lasted well into the afternoon. Clear skies prevailed following the storm’s passing, but the damage had already been done.

"We would have loved to play tonight but there was no way we could have," said Daniels. "I thought it was just going to be a 30 minute shower but it wasn’t."

Greenville could have wrapped up the 13-year-old title with a win over Troy tonight. Likewise, a Troy win over Luverne in the 14-year-old’s bracket would have meant the Sub-District Championship for Troy. Two losses tonight and both sets of teams would have returned for a one-game playoff.

It was the second time in the tournament that games have been delayed because of rain. On Saturday, all games were cancelled because of steady rain showers forcing a delay until Monday.

Daniels said tonight, both games have been moved up to a 6 p.m. start, instead of 7 p.m. as was originally scheduled. A doubleheader for both age brackets will be played if necessary.

The rain may have hurt the Troy 14-year-old team more then it helped. Troy was also off on Tuesday night to await the winner of the Luverne-Greenville game and head coach Cot Wallace was hoping to get tonight’s game in and end the tournament.

"Now, we have to go one more night without holding a bat in our hands," he said.

The cancellation helped Troy’s 13-year-old squad in that all of the team’s pitchers will be eligible tonight against Greenville.

"It helps us a little in one aspect, but it seems like every time we get some momentum going, here comes the rain," said Troy head coach Sam Kitchens. "We still have to win two games so we’re going to have to take them one game at a time."

The Troy 13-year-old team beat Luverne 11-4 on Tuesday night and advanced to the championship game.

Daniels said he expects the fields to be in good condition tonight. He said the TPRD staff will pump off any of the remaining water and use Quick-Dry to soak up other areas.

However, today’s weather was supposed to be similar to Wednesday’s and Daniels just hoped the rain would avoid Troy long enough to get the games in.

"We just have to hold our breath and wait," he said.