Delay doesn’t derail Flashes

Published 12:05 pm Wednesday, May 26, 2010

PEARL— A rain delay of 2 hours and 25 minutes did little to derail St. Aloysius and the masterful pitching of Stephen Evans.

The delay, however, might have taken some focus away from the Myrtle Hawks. Myrtle’s Sean Wigington opened the game with a sharp hit to right and then promptly got picked off by the crafty Evans.

A ground ball to second base, among some big drops of rain, made it two out. Then Ole Miss signee Jalen Judon strode to the plate. He would have to wait. A field umpire broke in to suspend play at 1:04 p.m. The Trustmark Park tarp would not be removed until 3 p.m. Judon would not get his at-bat to resume until 3:25. When he did, he singled hard to left, but then was left on second base as Evans got a ground ball out to end the inning. He then gave up his last hit to start the second. That runner was thrown out when Myrtle botched a hit-and-run. The Hawks would not get another runner aboard until the seventh inning.

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Evans said he was so tuned in that the two- hour plus delay didn’t faze him.

“I just got settled down and stayed focused. I knew I was coming back out there and do everything I could to get the win,” Evans said. He finished with a three-hit shutout to get the Flashes one win away from a second straight Class 1A title.

Myrtle coach Robert Gordon felt his team should have used the down time during the delay to take some more batting practice. They did little against Evans. They struck out 10 times against the senior.

“Maybe we should’ve been in the batting cage. But I don’t think the delay was a factor,” Gordon said.

St. Al spent most of its down time playing a game called “Flip.”

“Flip is a tradition at St. Aloysius,” Flashes outfielder Regan Nosser said. “Basically, you flip up a baseball and then you try to keep it in the air. You can hit it one time with your glove. Every other time, it has to be with your body.”

“It’s a routine we’ve done since the seventh grade,” Flashes’ first baseman and today’s Game 2 pitcher Ryno Martin-Nez said. “We always get a game of flip in before we play. Today, we just had a longer game. Still, you get four outs and then you’re out. Pierson (Waring) is the champ in flip. He wins about 80 percent of the time.”

Flashes center fielder Blake Haygood said the made-up game seems to relax the team.

“We took it easy. We played a game of flip. If we got knocked out, we go sit down,” Haygood said.

Waring, the Flashes’ senior shortstop, said his team tried to engage Myrtle in a little game to kill time.

“We tried to do a little toss back with them, but they wouldn’t do it,” Waring said.

As for Evans, Waring said he was very good but it was not the best he’s seen from him.

“He was better against Edinburg, the second game,” Waring said. “Today he threw a lot of pitches. He fell behind a lot of the hitters, but then he would come back and just freeze them with the curveball.”

While most of the varsity Flashes amused themselves by playing flip, two junior varsity players got some constructive work done. George Tzotzolas and Jacob Breedan were given tarp duty. They helped 20 other volunteers to pull the Trustmark Park tarp after the delay ended.

“It was heavy and dirty,” Breedan said.