ECRU – As close as a half-hour before game time, it was “all systems go” on Friday night for North Pontotoc and Amory.
The field had been striped, fans were buying tickets at the booth, burgers were cooking on the grill outside the concession stand, and the Panthers (23-8) and the Vikings (25-4) were settling in their dugouts and taking warm up tosses in the outfield.
Then – like an aborted shuttle launch – it didn’t take long for things to become just as drenched as they were for all other area schools.
A lightning delay was followed shortly by heavy rains, and by 7 p.m., Game 2 of their Class 4A North State series was declared a rainout.
The teams are scheduled to meet again at 7 p.m. tonight in Ecru.
“Our players haven’t had to deal with many rainouts,” said Amory coach Chad Williams, the 2010 Daily Journal Coach of the Year, who led his squad to the Division 4-4A title. “We’ll come back and we’ll be ready to play. And we’ll go with the same pitcher we had planned on using tonight.”
Taking the mound for the Panthers will be Will Cox (12-0), the 2010 Daily Journal Player of the Year, who has signed to play next season with Mississippi State.
North Pontotoc, the Division 1-4A champs, will stick to the same game plan also, sending side-arming righthander Brandon Bailey (5-1) to the hill.
“We’re going to throw the same pitcher and do all the same stuff we were going to do,” said Vikings coach Chad Anthony, whose squad is 11-2 on its home field. “We’re going to play them one at a time and try not to look too far ahead.”
North won Game 1 of the best-of-three series in Amory 1-0 on Thursday night, and is one win away from a chance to play for its first state title in baseball.
Jay Tidwell/Special to the Journal