Northside and Whitewater tried to settle their Class AAAAA baseball first-round playoff series Saturday night at Northside, but the only winner turned out to be Mother Nature.
Rains that started Friday night and lasted all day Saturday turned the Patriots' diamond into a waterlogged swamp, resulting in Game 3 of the Northside-Whitewater series being postponed until 5:30 p.m. Monday.
"We kept waiting and waiting on the premise that we thought there would be a break in the weather," said Northside coach David Smart. "That's why we had (Whitewater) come on down here. But the weather was coming from the south and going from east to west instead of west to east, so we couldn't get a good feel of what was going to happen with the weather. The longer we waited, the more waterlogged and dangerous the outfield was becoming and we didn't want to put any players in harm's way, so we decided to postpone it."
Game 3 was necessary after the teams split a doubleheader Friday. Northside took the opener 7-2, but the Wildcats forced a third game by winning the nightcap 4-1.
Smart wouldn't reveal whether the postponement of Saturday's game might change who the Patriots start on the mound in the series finale Monday.
"We're going to throw who we need to throw to win the series," said Smart. "The second round isn't even a thought right now. However, I will say that when we get together (today), we're going to re-evaluate everybody and see how the people who threw (Friday) are feeling. I'm not sure who we're going to throw Monday. We're just going to re-evaluate things and go from there. I will say that the extra days of rest will give us some more viable options, but Whitewater will, too."
Having played a doubleheader Friday and armed with scouting reports from the regular season, Smart said both teams will have a good idea of what to expect from the other on Monday.
"I feel good that we're still playing," said Smart. "The main objective is to win two out of three games. It doesn't matter which two games. We didn't play particularly well or particularly bad (Friday). Whitewater's just a good team. There's not going to be a lot of secrets Monday. I think it's just going to come down to who executes better."
The winner of the Northside-Whitewater series will travel to Lakeside-Evans in the second round. That series will start with a doubleheader Wednesday and a third game (if necessary) Thursday.