AVON, Ohio -- After more than four hours of combined rain delays, the Miami-Central Michigan baseball game at the Mid-American Conference Tournament has been suspended until Friday. The game will resume at 9 a.m. at All Pro Freight Stadium.
The RedHawks and Chippewas were tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning, with John Crummy batting with two outs and the bases loaded. There was a 2-2 count when play was called for a second time at 3:15 p.m.
Both teams returned to the hotel for a couple hours, with thoughts of a 7 p.m. resumption, but that was futile as showers returned just as the players began stretching.
The game began at 12:30 p.m., but lasted just two outs before the first rain delay. After 45 minutes, the game resumed with a bang. On the second pitch, Cody Leichman homered off the scoreboard in right field for a 3-0 CMU lead. All three runs were unearned after an error on a misplayed popup by the leadoff hitter.
Miami was able to cut into the lead in the bottom of the first on a two-out RBI double by Alex Johnson, but a double play earlier in the inning curbed the rally. The RedHawks tied the game in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Kevin Bower earned his second walk of the contest before Johnson reached on an error. Back-to-back wild pitches resulted in a run before a groundout by Dan Walsh made the score 3-3.
CMU came right back to take a 4-3 lead in the fifth. A leadoff ground-rule double set up an RBI single two batters later. But Miami answered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the frame. Jake Romano started things with a ground-rule double. After a walk to Crummy, Kevin Bower hit a 3-1 pitch into centerfield to plate Romano.
The carousel continued in the sixth as the Chippewas followed a similar format to take a 5-4 lead. A leadoff double and two-out single accounted for the tiebreaker. In the bottom of the sixth, Dan Walsh and Max Andresen singled to put runners on the corners. After a pitching change, Scott Slappey hit an 0-2 pitch through the left side to even the game. After a flyout, Romano reached on an infield single to second.
The rain picked up, forcing the second delay.
The winner of the contest will return to action later Friday against the Ball State-Kent State loser in another elimination game.
In the only game completed Thursday, No. 2 seed Buffalo sent No. 3 Northern Illinois home with a 12-0 decision.
Friday schedule is now as follows:
9 a.m. -- Central Michigan-Miami conclusion
30 minutes after (10:30/11ish) -- Kent State vs. Ball State
30 minutes after (1:30/2ish) -- Bowling Green vs. Toledo
30 minutes after (4:30/5ish) -- Central Michigan-Miami loser vs. Ball State-Kent State loser
30 minutes after (7:30/8ish) -- Buffalo vs. Bowling Green-Toledo loser (if time permits)