Postponement poses pitching problem for teams competing at Hartford

Published 5:00 pm Monday, June 14, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Standing rain on both fields at Hartford High School Saturday morning forced Division 3 Regional Baseball and Softball Tournament officials to make a difficult decision.
The softball field, which sits a little higher than the baseball field, was chosen as the focus of grounds crew efforts and the baseball field was left to soak up the water on its own.
The result of that decision was the postponement of the baseball tournament until today, with all games being played at the originally-scheduled times.
Edwardsburg will face Kalamazoo Christian at 10 a.m.; Brandywine will take on Gobles at 12:30 p.m.; the winners will meet in the title game around 3 p.m.
While Brandywine baseball coach Dave Sidenbender admitted he did not know what the condition of Hartford's field was like Saturday morning, he was not happy with how the decision will affect his team and the others in the tournament.
Muskegon Oakridge is the team now waiting to find out who wins today's regional at Hartford.
Oakridge won the regional title at Battle Creek Pennfield on Saturday and will take on today's winner in the quarterfinal on Tuesday at Wyoming Park.
The state's rule on pitching is what makes the postponement sting. By state rules, a player can only pitch 10 innings every three days.
That means if Brandywine uses its top two pitchers to throw seven innings each today, they will only have three innings left for Tuesday's quarterfinal.
In softball, there is no such rule limiting the number of innings a player is allowed to pitch..
After the rain stopped Saturday morning, the sun came out and stayed out most of the day, which Sidenbender expected.
While he and the other coaches in the regional are not happy about the decision, Sidenbender said it doesn't change his pitching strategy.