Thunder storms were anticipated for the Rogue Valley on Wednesday evening but they hit a little harder than some expected, leaving South Medford and Cascade Christian high schools to postpone their state playoff baseball games to this morning due to the foul weather.
South Medford will resume its second-round Class 6A state playoff game with Sprague at 11 a.m. at Grants Pass High after it was determined Harry & David Field would not be ready to handle a game due to the sloppy conditions, and the fact that Charter Field at U.S. Cellular Community Park would be unavailable in the morning.
Cascade Christian will resume its first-round Class 3A state playoff game with Warrenton at 11 a.m. at Charter Field, which is the Challengers’ home facility and gives them first rights to that artificial turf ballpark.
Both games were in progress when the decision was made to postpone, but since none of the pitchers involved had thrown more than 25 pitches — the state limit before requiring mandatory rest — their pitch count totals start over due to it being a new day.
South Medford (22-4) had just completed a scoreless top of the first inning against the Olympians (18-9) when lightning at nearby Harry & David Field forced a mandatory 30-minute delay before the Panthers could bat in the bottom of the first inning against Sprague senior Alek Altringer, who had just completed his warmup pitches.
Altringer had opened the top of the first with a single up the middle against South Medford starter Ricky Boortz, who followed with a strikeout of junior Michael Soper.
Boortz then induced an inning-ending double play against junior Cole Herschbach, with Panthers second baseman Jaalen Owens fielding the grounder up the middle, touching second base and then relaying to first baseman Robby Carle for the final out.
Across the way at Charter Field, Warrenton (17-4) had a runner on second base with two outs in the top of the first inning against Cascade Christian (14-8) starter Kyle Reece. Today’s game will pick up with that same scenario in place.
With the 6A and 3A state quarterfinals slated to start Friday, both games must be played Thursday — regardless of where that may be.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, email@example.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry