Bill Hass on Baseball:Rain stops Hoppers-Hickory; two games Saturday

Rain stops Hoppers-Hickory; two games Saturday
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball at….

Rain interfered with the first game of the Hoppers’ series at Hickory Friday night, leaving things in a state of suspension.

The game was in the bottom of the third inning when umpires waved the teams off the field, and they never returned.

The suspended game will resume Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and be played out to nine innings. The second game of the series will follow and last seven innings.

The outcome temporarily scrambled the standings in the SAL’s Northern Division. West Virginia, which held on to beat Delmarva 4–3, has moved into first place with a 37–30 record. Greensboro and Hickory are half a game behind, although the Hoppers (35–29) have a winning percentage of .547 to .545 for the Crawdads (36–30).

The advantage lies with Greensboro because of the winning percentage. Hickory needs to win three of the four games in order to finish ahead of the Hoppers. West Virginia needs to win at least three.

Here’s what the Hoppers face when the suspended game picks up. Hickory has a 2–0 lead with a runner on second base and no one out in the bottom of the third inning.

Both teams will lose their starting pitcher— Kolton Mahoney for the Hoppers and Walker Weickel for Hickory. Evan Beal will be on the mound for Greensboro when play resumes and pitch as long as he can. Two or possibly three more bullpen arms will be needed to finish the game. Hickory, of course, is in the same situation of having to use more pitchers than it planned.

“The key tomorrow is which team can knock the other team’s starter out and get into the bullpen,” said Hoppers manager Todd Pratt in a telephone conversation.

Ethan Clark will make his scheduled start in the second game against Reiver Sanmartin of Hickory. The third game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 5 p.m. and the finale will be Monday at 1 o’clock.