That’s just the situation now being faced by members of the Mooresville Spinners in their continued quest towards making a successful defense of their Southern Collegiate Baseball League postseason tournament title.
The reigning champions wound up being relegated to travel through the much more difficult loser’s bracket in the ongoing double-elimination attraction after suffering a 5-2 defeat to the number-one seed and regular-season champion Piedmont Pride in the finals of the winner’s bracket.
A bid to merit a rematch and keep their season alive stalled, however, in the loser’s bracket finale when it was initially delayed for more than two hours before being postponed completely.
As a result, Mooresville — the outright runner-up during the course of the regular season — was forced to wait out its game against the fellow consolation round finalist Carolina Vipers to find out which team will merit the right to face off against the Pride in the tournament finals.
“We tried our best,” said Philip Loftin, Mooresville’s general manager, regarding ill-fated attempts to wait out an extended weather-related delay late Thursday night before finally making the call to postponed play. “As it turned out, as soon as we made the call to delay, it stopped storming. By then, though, it was too late to play.”
Mooresville came up empty in its attempt to advance directly into the tournament finals following the 5-2 loss to the Pride in the match-up between at the time the only two teams still unbeaten in postseason play.
The Spinners managed single runs in both the first and eight innings but it was too little to offset the efforts of the Pride in the end.
Starting pitcher Josh Pike (Summerville, N.C. State University) was tagged with the loss following six innings of duty. From the bullpen, the cast comprised of Bryson Linkous (Mt. Holly, Catawba College), Trent Joiner (Huntersville, College of Charleston) and Tim Townsend (Charlotte, College of Charleston) all took turns trying to keep the hosts within striking distance. As a staff, they allowed the five runs on seven hits while striking out five. All but one of the strikeouts was recorded by Pike.
At the plate, a run-producing double belted by Tyler McPeak (Denver, Campbell University) allowed him to headline a crew consisting of Jake Whitcomb (Harrisburg, UNC Charlotte), Drew Yniesta (North Charleston, Erskine College), Seth McAulay (Huntersville, Western Carolina University) and Brennen Hogan (Ponte Vedra, Florida, UNC Pembroke) all also managing one base hit apiece. Whitcomb was also credited with the other run batted in.
Helping foil Mooresville’s bid to prevail was the committing of as many as three fielding errors in the game.
The winner of the Spinners vs. Vipers meeting will move on to take on the top-seeded Pride with the full knowledge that it will take a pair of wins over the latter to capture the SCBL tournament crown.
Play in the postseason affair will draw the summer wooden-bat baseball league’s schedule to a close.