Diamond Hogs endure another postseason delay

By: Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn looks toward the sky after the Razorbacks' College World Series game against Texas Tech was postponed Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn looks toward the sky after the Razorbacks' College World Series game against Texas Tech was postponed Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.

— For Arkansas, the College World Series is playing out a lot like the SEC Tournament did three weeks ago.

It just won't stop raining.

The Razorbacks’ game against Texas Tech was postponed until Wednesday at 11 a.m. because of heavy thunderstorms forecast for Omaha on Tuesday night. It was the second weather-related delay this week for Arkansas, which endured a 2-hour, 49-minute lightning delay during Sunday’s 11-5 win over Texas.

“It’s just that time of the year when they are a lot of storms rolling around, especially in the Midwest, it seems like,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “The radar was really bad. They’ve got a real advanced radar that we all went and looked at with their meteorologist. He kind of explained that there is a ton of lightning coming, too, not only rain. They felt like there was just no window. It’s going to blow up and be here all the way through morning.

“We didn’t want to get out there…and get it going for an inning or two only to shut it down and start again or sit around.”

The delay was the latest in a week full of them at the College World Series. In addition to the Arkansas-Texas game Sunday, the Oregon State-Washington game on Monday was delayed for 4 hours, 31 minutes. A game between Mississippi State-North Carolina was postponed until Tuesday morning after it was delayed several hours Monday night, and started 15 minutes late Tuesday because of heavy rain overnight.

Arkansas experienced multiple delays at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., last month. Its first game against South Carolina on May 23 did not begin until 9:45 p.m. because of heavy rains that delayed games earlier in the day; its game against Florida was postponed from late May 24 to 10 a.m. on May 25; and its May 26 game against LSU included a 90-minute rain delay.

“We’ve been through it a few times,” Van Horn said. “You kind of learn how to handle it a little bit, I guess, just through experience.

“You just try to stay locked in. What can we do about it? (We will) just play when we get to. You worked hard to get here so don’t get the wrong mindset and get disappointed because of the weather.”

Van Horn said he will still start junior left-hander Kacey Murphy (8-5, 3.12 ERA) against the Red Raiders on Wednesday. Texas Tech is supposed to start junior right-hander Davis Martin (7-5, 4.50 ERA).

Neither pitcher threw during an April 24 game between the teams in Fayetteville, a 5-1 Arkansas win.

“We would much rather feel like we have the opportunity to play a complete game without stopping,” Van Horn said. “You have a certain amount of pitchers who are available, and if you go out and throw your starter an inning or two and that’s it, whereas he might have given you five or six, it’s tough on everybody. It’s probably the most fair way to go about it is to play tomorrow.”

The teams might have to dodge weather again Wednesday. According to the National Weather Service, a 70 percent chance of rain exists Wednesday during daytime hours and a flood watch is in effect for the greater Omaha area.

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