The Elizabethton Cyclones were hoping to make a one-run lead hold up against an always tough Charlie Baxter-coached Unicoi County Blue Devil squad on Wednesday at Twins Field in an important Three Rivers Conference meeting between the schools.
Unfortunately, a rain that began just as the game started intensified as each inning progressed until the infield soil couldn't absorb anymore, and the umpiring crew was forced to call the game for the safety of both teams with the Cyclones leading 4-3.
Several bags of field dry was poured on the infield but to no avail.
After getting the Blue Devils in a one, two, three top of the first, the Cyclones jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the frame.
Jordan Hinshaw reached on a walk and scored all the way from first when Kasey King laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line that Unicoi pitcher Austin Arrowood threw over the head of his first baseman all the way to the outfield allowing Hinshaw to race around the bags to score the game's first run.
King, on his horse as well, made it all the way to third base.
Thomas Miller beat out a fielder's choice which allowed King to score run number two. Miller was given a RBI on the at-bat.
Arrowood retired the next two Cyclones before C.J. Bowling was hit by a pitch to place runners at first and second. Freshman third baseman Taylor Edwards stepped into the batter's box and promptly delivered a two-RBI double to propel the Cyclones ahead 4-0 at the end of one complete.
Unicoi answered the bell quickly in the top of the second delivering three runs of their own to close the gap to one, 4-3.
Cyclone pitcher Taylor Gouge struck out Ethan Rice to open the top of the second before running into some trouble.
Timmy Graham reached on an error by left fielder King, advancing all the way to second.
A Gavin Whitson RBI single drove home Graham. The Cyclone defense got a major out when Gouge threw over to first baseman McKenly Berry who tagged out Whitson a mile from the bag but was called safe until Whitson, who thought he was out, headed toward the Unicoi dugout and was tagged a second time by Berry for the official out.
The play would be big as Ryan Lingerfelt walked and designated hitter Brandon Foy drilled a Gouge offering 345 feet over the left-center field fence for a two-run homer that cut the lead to one, 4-3.
Elizabethton appeared to have something going again in the bottom of the second when Jake Hubbard was walked but erased on a 1-3-6 pickoff by Unicoi.
Hinshaw reached after being plunked by an Arrowood pitch and King roped a single to place runners at second and third. The Blue Devil defense rose to the occasion and stymied the rally to get out of the inning unscathed.
Unicoi was trying to even the score in the top of the third with the rains continuing to come down in the event the game would be called. With one out, Coty Vanhoy ripped a double and took third on a fielding error by Hinshaw at short that allowed Scott Gibson to reach first safely as well.
A heads-up play by Cyclone catcher Miller caught Vanhoy napping at third to hang the Blue Devil runner out to dry as Miller continues to play smart ball behind the dish. Rice then grounded harmlessly back to the mound to end the threat.
Elizabethton would get a walk by Bowling in the bottom of the inning sandwiched between three strikeouts by Arrowood for Unicoi County At that point of the game, the Cyclone players and coaches spread drying agent, raked and everything else they could do to keep the game going, but to no avail.
The game will be completely erased with the Cyclones up 4-3 and have to be played from scratch at a later date.