Rain wipes out opening day of NBC Regional Tournament

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Rain was the big winner Friday on the first day of the National Baseball Congress Mid-South Regional in Cape Girardeau.

Three games were scheduled, but two never got started and not even one was completed.

After a rain delay of nearly two hours during the second inning of the tournament opener between the Southern Illinois Merchants and Springfield (Mo.) Slashers, the game was halted for the day when more heavy rain hit and continued to fall in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Weather permitting, action will resume at 10 a.m. today with the Merchants leading the Slashers 4-1. Bobby Coomer, a hard-throwing right-hander for the Merchants, had a no-hitter through five innings when play was stopped Friday.

Following the completion of that suspended contest, Friday's two other scheduled games will be played today when the Cape Girardeau Riverdogs face the Pine Bluff (Ark.) Braves at about 11:30 a.m. and the host Cape Girardeau Craftsman Union Capahas take on the Fulton (Mo.) Bandits at about 2:30 p.m. Two more games will follow, at about 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Capahas manager and tournament director Jess Bolen said he hopes to get in four more games Sunday but, even if there are no more delays, the tournament will not end this weekend as planned.

"It's disappointing. At 10 a.m. I thought it would be a great day," Bolen said. "I don't ever remember us being rained out for basically the whole day like this, and then wonder if you can even play the next day. This could happen again."

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