Another day, another long rain delay and another round of shuffling games at the state baseball tournament.
For a second straight day, a long line of thunderstorms bedeviled play at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston on Friday, as only two of the four scheduled games were able to get started. That meant reworking the schedule and pushing title games to Sunday for the third time in 11 years.
Bridgeport beat Shady Spring 9-2 in the first Class AA semifinal Friday morning, and the Scott-Frankfort game was halted by rain after four innings with the Skyhawks ahead 1-0. That game resumed Friday evening, with Frankfort winning 3-2 by scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
The Class A semifinals are now scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with No. 1 seed and defending champion Moorefield taking on No. 4 seed St. Joseph. That game will be followed by No. 2 seed Charleston Catholic and No. 3 Wheeling Central at approximately 11:30, or 50 minutes after the completion of the first game.
The SSAC opted to go with a rolling schedule for Saturday’s five games instead of taking a short break between the A and AAA sessions. Thus, the first AAA semifinal between No. 1 seed St. Albans and No. 4 Wheeling Park will go off at about 2:30 p.m., followed by No. 2 Hurricane against No. 3 Hedgesville at around 5:30.
The Class AA championship between defending champ Bridgeport and Frankfort will cap Saturday’s long card at approximately 8:30 p.m. The weather forecast for Saturday is good, with a high of 82 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain during the day, increasing to 30 percent in the evening.
If the weather holds up, that means two title games will remain for Sunday — the Class A finals at 10 a.m., and the AAA finals at about 1 p.m.
Bernie Dolan, the SSAC executive director, said the group’s Board of Directors was polled for permission to play on Sunday before 1 p.m., and the request was approved. The SSAC was given latitude in 2000 to delay title games to Sunday, as long as they didn’t start before 1 p.m.
There have been two other instances of the state tournament wrapping up on Sunday at Power Park — in 2009, Martinsburg beat Nitro 9-8 in the AAA finals, and in 2012, all three title games were held on Sunday. That season, Princeton beat Nitro 7-4 (AAA), Wyoming East beat Herbert Hoover 1-0 (AA) and Madonna beat East Hardy 5-4 (A).
The forecast for Sunday’s weather, unfortunately, isn’t as promising as Saturday’s, with a high of 75 degrees and a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms.
The tournament was scheduled to begin Thursday with a pair of AA games, but never managed to get off the ground as a lengthy storm rolled in about a half-hour before play was set to start and washed out both contests.