ENGLEWOOD — After waiting for two days and numerous delays, Lemon Bay and Lake Placid will have to wait one more day to decide the Class 5A-District 12 baseball championship.
The game was called in the top of the eighth inning with the score deadlocked at 3-3 after a second lightning delay, and will be resumed Saturday morning at 11:00 am.
The Green Dragons had a runner at first with one out in the eighth inning when the lightning alarm sounded for the second time during the game. After waiting over an hour, and with lightning still within ten miles of the field, the decision was made to postpone the game until Saturday.
“This is a first for me,” Manta Rays coach Dan Flaherty said. “I’ve been part of couple of small rain delays where you’re sitting in the dugout for a few minutes, but this is unprecedented. You work hard to earn home field advantage for the district tournament. You didn’t think your opponent was going to have to make two bus rides, but we’ll go home and get a good night’s sleep, get focused and ready to go for tomorrow.”
The game started at 4 p.m. in an attempt to avoid any weather delays, but with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning and the contest still scoreless, the lightning detector went off for the first time.
After a two hour rain delay, the game resumed and the Mantas scored a run to take a 1-0 lead. After pinch runner Aidan Moore stole second, John Moore beat out an infield single, sending Aidan Moore to third. Dragons pitcher JJ Huergo had John Moore picked off at first, but Moore got caught in a rundown as Aidan Moore broke for home. Lake Placid catcher Shamar Mitchell couldn’t handle the throw as Aidan Moore slid in with the games first run.
But the Dragons wasted no time getting to Lemon Bay reliever Jason LePage. Three consecutive singles scored one run, and Jorge Martinez doubled into the left field corner to drive home the go-ahead run. Another run scored on a wild pitch to give Lake Placid a 3-1 lead.
Dragons reliever Cody Jolley had control problems in the bottom of the fifth, allowing the Mantas to tie the score without the benefit of a hit.
Tyler Intihar was hit by a pitch and stole second. Jolley then struck out the next two batters, but hit Flynn Stewart with a pitch and walked Josh Gossett to load the bases. Chris Diemer then drew a walk to force in one run, and Tyler Kreissler was hit by another pitch to force in the tying run.
Neither team could score for the next two innings, sending the game into extra innings before the lightning detector sounded again.
The Mantas had only two hits in the game, but took advantage of six walks and four hit batters.
The game will pick up where it left off Friday night.
“Hopefully tomorrow we can get that timely hit,” Flaherty said.