Storms suspend game two of Lexington County Blowfish Playoff series
After falling in the opening game of the playoff series against the Forest City Owls, the Lexington County Blowfish will have to wait a little longer to play game two after it was suspended by storms after a half inning.
The game was already pushed up from its original 7:05 p.m. first pitch time to 5:35 p.m. in an attempt to get ahead of the storms that were rolling in.
Carson Starnes was slated to get the start for the Blowfish and retired the first three batters in order with two strikeouts. In the bottom half of the inning, the Blowfish had runners on first and second and decided to double steal. Ty Jackson was ultimately thrown out at third base and the sky opened up and the aggressive rain and winds made their grand appearance.
After a two-hour rain delay, the decision was made by both teams to suspend the game until 4:05 p.m. on Aug. 8. If the Blowfish were to win and force a game three, it will be played as a seven-inning game 20 minutes after the conclusion of game two.
“It was tough,” Blowfish coach KC Brown said. “We’ll see what Carson has tomorrow left in the tank. He looked really good, obviously, in a small sample size so we’ll see how he bounces back tomorrow and how he feels first thing in the morning. If not, it’s kind of ‘next man up’. We got a big staff working on the field. The field will be fine for tomorrow so we’re ready.”
When the rain started coming down, the players, team interns and Brown all struggled to unravel the tarp and get it onto the field but after twenty minutes or so, they were able to get the field covered.
“I’ve never ever seen a tarp that messed up, ever,” Brown laughed. “I don’t know if it’s a pipe issue being too small or what. I don’t know if Einstein could’ve figured that one out. That was tough. Eventually we got it out there, thankfully. There was a lot of hard work and sweat equity out there today.”
Blowfish co-owner Bill Shanahan chose to quote fictional minor league legend Crash Davis from the movie Bull Durham.
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains.”
“And that is today,” Shanahan said when discussing the process of postponement. “We were in a situation that we cautiously moved up earlier for this reason to hopefully get the game in. Weather decided differently and we did everything we possibly could. We brought everyone together. We brought owners, the head coaches, the league office, general managers to discuss it and we all agreed it’s better for safety purposes for players as well as fans to start the first game to start back at 4:05 and then, if game three is necessary, we’ll start 20 minutes after that.”
The game was going to be the first Blowfish playoff game since 2015. They dropped the series opener in Forest City 2-1 despite a strong outing from starting pitcher Adam Duval and a solo home run from Phillip Ard.
Duval went six innings and surrendered only five hits and two earned runs while also striking out seven. Alex Lyon and Gunnar Erickson both pitched a singular scoreless inning. Unfortunately for the Blowfish, the Owls pitching silenced the Lexington County bats and outside of the Ard home run, they were held scoreless.
The playoff spot was clinched after a walk off RBI single from Jackson got the magic number down to one and after the Asheboro Zookepers lost to the Owls the following day, it became official: the Lexington County Blowfish were playoff bound. The team’s 16-8 second half record was a whole 3.5 games better than the second place Asheboro Zookeepers for the west division title.
Lexington County finished the regular season 28-18 after their regular season finale resulted in a 9-7 win over the Macon Bacon and because of their 5-4 head-to-head advantage over the Forest City Owls, they earned home field advantage for the series which is why game two and potentially game three will be held at Lexington County Baseball Stadium.