2012 governor’s CupCardinals, Cup get off to rainy start

Published 11:28 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

The Warren County Cardinals waited out a rain delay and played through a partial power outage Friday night. The reward for their efforts was still a frustrating loss.

Kendall Williams hit a grand slam, and the PSA Sox Blue scored five runs in the last two innings to pull away for a 9-4 victory over the Cardinals in the opening game of the 12-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup Friday night at Halls Ferry Park.

It was part of a rocky start for both the hometown team and the tournament. Persistent late-afternoon rain caused a ripple effect that forced several teams to play deep into the night. The first games were delayed by an hour, and the second set began around 9 p.m. Two more 12-year-olds’ games, originally scheduled for 9:30, weren’t expected to begin until about 11 p.m. and end after midnight.

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In addition, three 12-year-olds’ games were postponed because of wet conditions on the Ladies softball field at Halls Ferry Park. They will be worked into the schedule today, although tournament director Marty Boyd said it wasn’t immediately clear when.

Another problem popped up during the Cardinals-Sox game when a bank of lights went out on Halls Ferry’s Bluff Field. The teams played the last two innings in semi-darkness, but the following game between PSA Red and the Madison Marlins was delayed until the problem could be fixed.

“We couldn’t control the weather, and weather is what’s got us backed up,” Boyd said. “We’ll finish out the bracket. The games that are scheduled for the Halls Ferry Ladies Field we’ll fill in the best we can.”

All the teams that took the field Friday night did their best to weather the various storms. Most hit in the batting cages, ran sprints or played catch to pass the time.

“We’ve played several tournaments this year and most of these boys have been together since they were 5. So we’ve become accustomed to having to sit and wait. It wasn’t a big deal,” Cardinals coach Fred Barnum said. “I’m lucky to have such a good group of kids that know what to do, that know the game and know what to do to keep themselves prepared to play. It makes my job a lot easier.”

The Cardinals and Sox were the first to finally take the field, and it didn’t take long for Williams to provide the tournament’s first highlight. He belted a grand slam onto the hill beyond the right-center field wall to give the Sox a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

Leon Simms hit a solo homer for the Cardinals in the bottom of the inning, and they tied it with another run in the second and two in the third.

Christian Johnson’s RBI single put the Sox ahead for good in the top of the fourth inning, however, and they used three walks, a hit batter and a pair of RBI singles to tack on four more runs in the fifth.

The Cardinals will play again today at 8 a.m. against the TML Advancers.

“Our pitchers just started to struggle and couldn’t find the strike zone,” Barnum said. “We’ve had a long layoff since the state tournament, but we’ll get it corrected.”