May 31st, 2012
7th Region Baseball Finals Suspended
St. Xavier took 3-0 lead over Male before weather delay
Jake Johnson's bat remained thunderous on Thursday night as the 7th Region Championship between St. Xavier and Male got underway, but it was Mother Nature's lightning that kept Johnson and the Tigers from completing its game against the Bulldogs.
With St. X ahead 3-0 and batting with one out and a runner on first base during the bottom of the third, the home plate umpire threw up his hands, called for time and sent the teams to a predetermined evacuation location due to dangerous weather in the area.
The fans were also asked to exit Jim Patterson Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisville unitl the game resumed, but that moment never came.
After a 2 hour and 5 minute rain/lightning delay, it appeared that the teams were getting ready to pick the action up but play was halted as Male relief pitcher Jarrod Messex prepared to make warmup pitches from the mound. Teams were once again sent to their benches and the game was officially suspended by umpires and 6th/7th Region officials.
Due to Male High School graduation on Friday (June 1), the game will be restarted, from the same point, at 8pm on Friday night.
Before the game was postponed, St. X had taken a commanding 3-0 advantage over the Bulldogs behind the bats of Johnson and Andrew Willinger. In the first inning, Johnson legged out an infield single to leadoff off the game, stole second base and then raced home to score on a bloop single to center field by Willinger.
Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, the Tigers came out blazing. Following a line drive single by Conrad Ulmer, St. X shortstop Nate Stemle laid down a sacrifice bunt. As Male starting pitcher Brandon Yates made the throw to first for the force out, the ball hit off Stemle in the baseline and deflected into foul territory, allowing Ulmer to advance all the way to third and Stemle to second.
Three pitches later, Johnson sent a deep fly ball to centerfield and managed to drive in two runs with a double SAC fly. It was the first time in seven straight at-bats that Johnson didn't deliver a hit, but his deep flyout did the job and put St. X ahead 3-0.
Willinger proceeded to deliver a two-out single to right centerfield, which prompted Male to make a change on the mound. Essex came in to replace Yates, threw one strike and then the delay was implemented. Yates gave up four hits, three earned runs and struck out two before exiting after 2 2/3 inning of work.
St. Xavier starting pitcher Sam Melchior, who went the distance for a complete game shutout win against Male on April 12 earlier this season, had completed three innings on the mound for the Tigers. During his time on the bump, Melchior gave up just one hit, struck out one and issued two walks. He allowed a leadoff walk in the top of the 2nd, but picked off the runner to take away Male's brief momentum.
On Friday, the game will resume from the exact point it left off - St. Xavier's Josh Osbourne will be up with an 0-1 count, one out and Willinger on first base.
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