The biggest enemy of the Rowley Rams in Thursday night’s decisive Game 3 of the Intertown Twilight League playoffs wasn’t the Hamilton Generals. It was the sun.
Tied 6-6 in the eighth, the game was called due to the fading daylight. Due to Intertown Twilight League rules, the game will seem like it was never played, with the Generals and Rams starting over at 0-0 Friday evening.
The players and crowd were disappointed at the outcome, because it turned out to be one tightly contested contest.
“I’ve been down here for 28, 29 years, and that’s one of the best baseball games I have been involved in,” said Rowley head coach Jeff Wood. “It was a lot of fun.”
Hamilton struck first with a run in the first inning. After some nerves early, Adam Chatterton made quick work of the Generals’ lineup in the second inning. In the top of the third, Dimitri Hunt and CJ Ingraham scored to give the Rams the lead, but Dylan Stratton and Jake Lanciani pushed Hamilton back into the lead a half inning later, giving them a 3-2 lead.
“Hamilton kept bouncing back,” said Wood.
Rowley scored twice again in the fourth to take another lead with runs from Lewi L’Heureux and Curtis Putnam, but the Generals answered again with three runs to retake the lead, 6-4. In the sixth, L’Heureux scored again to bring the Rams within a run.
The Rams were down to their last out in the seventh. The Generals’ fans cameras were out against the chain link fence, ready to take celebratory photos, but Finn Graham’s single kept the game alive. L’Heureux batted him in on the next at bat to tie the game 6-6.
The two teams played a chippy eighth inning before the umpire called the game due to the impending darkness.
“We were resilient tonight,” said Wood. “We fell behind, we went up. We fell behind again. We just kept coming. We worked at every at bat.”
Now the two teams have to pretend their Thursday battle never occurred and take the field Friday night for another chance at a spot in the league finals.
“As bizarre as it is that we played eight tonight and it doesn’t count and we have to come back tomorrow, it almost seems fitting,” reasoned Wood. “We have been evenly matched all year long, and this series has been evenly matched.”