By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – The mere threat of rain was enough to cause a one-hour, 15-minute rain delay in the first game of the Starkville Regional on Saturday.
Central Arkansas and Mercer were delayed when a line of storms moved into the area, and the path indicated that Dudy Noble Field would get wet. So the grounds crew rolled out the tarp, and the players were called off the field in the fifth inning.
But only a few sprinkles touched down, and so play resumed at 5:01 p.m. Then it went into extra innings.
Per NCAA rule, the next game could not begin until 55 minutes following the conclusion of the first one, so MSU and South Alabama didn’t get going until 8:05 p.m., an hour after scheduled first pitch.
The game ended after the Daily Journal went to press.
UCA holds on
Mercer (43-18) rallied from a 5-1 deficit over the final three innings, but UCA pulled it out in the 11th for a 6-5 win. That eliminated Mercer from the regional.
The Bears (40-21) had a man on third when Blake Marchal flew out to shallow right field. The runner, Jonathan Davis, bluffed going home, and right fielder C.J. Reed threw it over the catcher’s head, allowing Davis to score.
Visitors at home
Mississippi State was the visiting team against South Alabama on Saturday night, via a coin flip.
The last time MSU was the visitor on its home field was the 2007 super regional. The Bulldogs beat Clemson, 8-5, to clinch their eighth trip to the College World Series.