The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

May 17, 2013

Storms halt Spartans-Tigers sectional

BECKLEY — The Region 3, Section 2 finals between Greenbrier East and Princeton, scheduled for a 6 p.m. start Thursday night at Spartan Field, began a little late after Princeton’s bus was delayed arriving in Fairlea.

At 6:20 — after some urging from the umpires, and some arguing from the Princeton coaching staff, which was upset that it was not given the opportunity to take infield and outfield practice before the game began — the first pitch was finally thrown.

Three minutes later, the game was stopped.

After Greenbrier East starter Ryan Windon set the Tigers down in order in the top of the first, thunder rolled from behind home plate, and first base umpire Jessie Sams held up his hands to stop the game at 6:23.

After more than 90 minutes of watching for lightning strikes and looking onto a field that became more and more saturated with what turned into a steady rain, the game was called and rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. today.

The teams split a doubleheader in Princeton last Thursday and have been trying since last Friday to play the rubber game in the double elimination format. Rain, though, washed out scheduled starts on Friday and Saturday, and because of the West Virginia Educational Standards Test given at schools throughout the state, the teams weren’t allowed to schedule another date until Thursday, missing three sunny days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to the WVSSAC rules, “all sectionals must be completed by Saturday, May 18. If a winner cannot be determined by Saturday, May 18, the tournament winner will be determined by reverting to a single elimination format.”

 That rule could come into play with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms today and a 50 percent chance on Saturday in the forecast for Fairlea.

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