When it Rains, it Pours

The weather in southern California has been seemingly off lately, with the sun appearing today for what seems like the first time in two weeks, and the evenings holding a chill in the air.  Tonight’s game at High Desert brought more of the same weather oddities, with rain forcing the early completion of the game in the sixth inning.

We entered the bottom of the sixth clinging to a 1-0 lead when it started drizzling.  After a lead-off single, the rain started falling harder, and a blooper fell into left field.  After a few pitches to the third batter of the inning, it was pouring by this point and the players were pulled off the field.  A tarp was put on the mound, but that was the only area covered since there is no tarp at High Desert.  About ten minutes into the delay, some groundskeepers were bringing out what looked like a tarp for home plate.  However, this cover was merely amounted to some old, vinyl advertisement banners.  Rain is so infrequent there is no need for one.  However, the tarp’s absence tonight made a 20-minute rainstorm the demise of the field and sealed High Desert’s loss.

What made tonight comical was that we were delayed an hour and ten minutes before the game was called.  There was a copious amount of water left on the field from the 20 minute downpour, and we thought that it was going to be called almost immediately.  Standing water was prominent all over the infield, especially in the home plate area, which was not “covered” until ten minutes after it had been pouring. 

While the umpires and managers discussed the prospects of completing the game, some groundskeepers had started pushing the water around the dirt with squeegees.  Needless to say, this was about as effective as throwing deck chairs off the Titanic.  Some rakes finally showed up, and with the enlisted help of some fans, efforts were made to try raking some dry, sandy dirt in with the soaked infield.  In these situations, a substance called Turface is generally used to mix in with wet dirt to make it more playable.  Turface is known for its highly absorbent properties, and can quickly dry out a field.  Unfortunately, High Desert did not have any of this either.  After about a half hour of watching these futile efforts, the game was called and we were victorious with the 1-0 win.

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One Response to “When it Rains, it Pours”

  1. Stephen C. Smith Says:

    You’d be surprised, Rosey, it rains more than the reputation that proceeds us.

    Back in 1998, the last big El Nino year, we had massive rain in April that banged games up and down the league. It was so bad, we had so many makeup games, that Lake Elsinore (then the Angels affiliate) had to play two games in two different parks the same day. We went to Rancho to play a day game that was a makeup, lost, then got back on the bus and headed up the I-15 to High Desert for the regularly scheduled night game, which we lost.

    Rancho back then didn’t have a tarp either. Their field was unplayable for several days. They bought one after that.

    Of course, this is all pretty wimpy compared to the Florida State League, as you well know. 🙂

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