The rain came in sheets Friday night, and so did the white tarp meant to keep the field dry. There were pools of water in the stands, and a few strikes of lightning even forced fans from Burlington Athletic Stadium for over an hour.
But in the end, neither the rain nor any delay could postpone Marvin Ridge’s eventual 6-3 loss to Topsail in the first game of the 3A state baseball championship.
After an explosive first inning at the plate, which saw the Mavericks take a 3-0 lead, Marvin Ridge was unable to score for the rest of the game.
Topsail, on the other hand, rallied soon after to take the lead. Two runs in the second and three in the third, with another insurance score in the sixth, gave the Pirates a lead that ultimately withstood.
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And then came the storm.
When the rain finally cleared, the teams reconvened to finish the game, but Marvin Ridge was still unable to score. Now, the Mavericks will enter Saturday’s game needing a win to keep their hopes alive of winning a second state title.
Three who mattered
Chandler Nikodemski, Marvin Ridge: Nikodemski shot a grounder down the third base line in the first inning that stayed fair. He advanced to second and scored two runners in the process, good for the early 2-0 lead.
Chandler Castleberry, Marvin Ridge: Castleberry had the catch of the game, a last-second grab just short of the right field wall.
Garrett Myrka, Topsail: Myrka’s double in the third scored two runners and gave his team a lead it would never relinquish.
▪ On the very first pitch of the game, Topsail’s Josh Madole got hit in the back, but was thrown out soon after when tried stealing second.
▪ A loss for Marvin Ridge on Saturday would clinch the state title for Topsail.
▪ Marvin Ridge finished the game with more errors (5) than runs (3).
They said it
“Our bats came alive and we capitalized on a couple of mistakes on their part, and it’s nice to get those breaks.” – Topsail coach Christopher Blake on his team’s five runs in the second and third innings
“We just had more intensity than I’ve ever seen in a dugout that first inning.” – Nikodemski
“That’s why it’s a series, not one-and-done.” – Marvin Ridge coach Mark Mennitt on having a second chance Saturday