Monday, April 4, 2011

Down to the Final 2....Water Ball Today?

Butler pulled away late in the first game Saturday to move on to it's second straight championship game in the Men's NCAA Basketball Championships...unlike last year, when, being a big time Duke fan, I was rooting against the Bulldogs, this year I'm hoping they come out and win it all.  Playing the corrupt coach and program at UConn makes it all that easier to root for the Indianapolis based Butler squad.  "You Cons" for their part, held off Kentucky by 1 point in the second game Saturday night.

A Wet Season Continues____

Despite cold and sometimes wet weather last week, I still managed to umpire 6 of my 7 scheduled games....this week I might not be so lucky...starting with today's contest at Delphos.

Friday night when I left Celina about 4:10pm for a varsity game at Fort Recovery, it was partly sunny and about 53 degrees...not great, but not bad for a baseball day.  By the time I arrived at the Fort diamond, some 22 miles south and west of Celina, the temp had dropped to 47 on the inside digital in the Intrepid...and a few sprinkles dotted the windshield.  Things would go downhill from there.

The team bus from Waynesfield, a nearly 60 mile drive, would have a hard time finding the field...which is located away from the school, and about a stone's throw from the Indiana State Line.  They arrived at 5:05 for the scheduled 5pm start.  Allowing them time to warm up and practice on the field, we finally got started sometime after 5:30.  A cloudy sky and a strong breeze prevailed throughout the game, until the top of the 6th, when, with the visitors up 9-3, a sheet of combined rain, small hail, sleet, and some wet snow, came roaring over the outfield fence.  I shut down the game for about 15 minutes, until the moister moved on...then after putting "stay dry" on the mound and plate area, we began again....that lasted one pitch!  The first ball sailed over the batter's head, and the rain began again...being behind the plate and the umpire-in-charge, I immediately signaled that we would play no more....the game was considered a complete contest, and soaked to the bone, we all headed to our cars and buses.

On Saturday morning, the skies dawned cloudy, with a continued strong wing accompanying cooler temperatures.  Sam was schedule to work with Garry back at Fort Recovery for a double he had to make the 100 mile each way trip.  Meanwhile I had taken a rare JV date in least my games would be played on the artificial infield....both games, I did the plate in game #1, while my partner Dave, donned the gear for the second contest.  It was comfortable behind the plate with the gear on, or if the sun was shinning without the equipment on...the second game I had neither.  Greenville defeated the JV Bulldogs in both games, meanwhile south some 30 miles in Darke County, Celina's varsity were paying the Greeville Green Wave team in kind, taking both ends of the double header to move to 5-1 on the young season.

Today I was slated to be at Delphos St. Johns for a contest with Lima Shawnee....what is interesting is, counting scrimmages, this was to be my 4th St. John contest of the year...and despite getting almost all games in thus far, if we get canceled tonight, I will be 0 of 4 in Blue Jay games.  I'm scheduled to have them again Wednesday and next Monday, and both those days look like they might have more rains...but then again, so does much of the next two weeks.

If we do get washed out, as expected, tonight...guess I will head for our final rules meeting at Indian Lake High School...what the heck?  I have more than enough of the required meetings in...but my southwest association always puts on a good feed for the final meeting, so away we will go...why not?

Then back in time to watch the 2nd half of the Butler/UConn game...Go Bulldogs!!  And on a side note...How about those Cincinnati Reds?  3 games in, 3 games won, all over the team that was picked to challenge them in the NL Central, Milwaukee's Brewers....Cincy is off today, with Houston coming in tomorrow.

back later>>>>

Photos-Butler's Bulldogs try to end up Champions tonight, after coming in 2nd last year....Sam Houseworth working the plate, and all to often High School Baseball is confronted with fields looking like the one shown here...April is a wet month most years.  And the Reds start the season with 3 straight wins....

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