LUVERNE -- On a night that could have sent the Luverne Redbirds to the state amateur baseball tournament, all that was sent was rain Friday night at Redbird Field.
The second game of a best-of-three series with the Milroy Irish to decide the third and final qualifier from the Region 13C tournament was suspended with Luverne batting in the bottom of the sixth inning and the score tied 1-1. It will be picked up where it left off today at 2 p.m., same location.
Luverne holds a 1-0 series lead by virtue of a 3-1 win over the Irish on Wednesday.
Milroy scored a second-inning run Friday on an RBI double by Jake Plaetz, and that’s where it stayed until the Redbirds -- who seemed to be sleepwalking in a light rain until then -- finally got something going in their half of the sixth. Milroy pitcher Cody Mather walked Declan Beers to start the inning, then Phil Paquette reached on a slow roller that was booted at third base. With runners straddling first and second base and nobody out, cleanup hitter Skyler Wenninger drilled an RBI single over the third base line, and runners were on first and second still with nobody out.
Codie Zeutenhorst flew out to short center field, and there was no advance by the runners. A heavy clap of thunder then was heard to the south, followed by lightning, and the game was stopped.
Rain continued unabated for the next half hour. The field was beginning to get too wet to play upon, and the umpires suspended the game.
There were only four hits in the game when it was called, as both starting pitchers -- Mather for Milroy and Tyler Reisdorfer for Luverne -- were still in the game.
Luverne and Milroy are hoping to become the final Region 13C playoff team to advance to state. Fairmont and Hadley have already qualified.