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Beyond the Scoreboard: Roberson-Reynolds try to play baseball for fourth straight day

Torrential rain has moved the Reynolds vs Roberson playoff game back twice (WLOS Staff).jpg

(WLOS) – Steady rain and a drenched field has both prevented baseball from being played and built up even more anticipation for a fourth-round playoff game between Western Mountain 3A Conference rivals.

Roberson at Reynolds was scheduled for Friday but was rained out. Ditto for Saturday, another washout.

The schools inquired about playing on Sunday, but the NC High School Athletic Association said no.

So now, the game to decide who will advance to the 3A Western Regional final best-of-three series is set for 7 p.m. Monday night at Reynolds.

J.T. Davis Field still has some wet spots and coach Bryan Craig said it can’t take much more rain. There is a 40 percent chance of rain Sunday night and 20 percent Monday.

In addition to making players, coaches and fans more anxious, the delay also allows both teams to use their top pitchers if they choose.

Reynolds righthander Josh Dotson and Roberson lefthander Eric Wallington weren’t eligible to pitch Friday or Saturday because they threw in last Tuesday night’s playoff wins.

But with a new week starting Monday, the aces are available.

Craig said he hadn’t decided who will start Monday’s game, but Roberson’s Eric Filipek said he will start Wallington.

On Thursday last week, Filipek speculated that perhaps Reynolds wouldn’t mind a couple more days of rain.

“I don’t know what Reynolds is thinking, but I’m sure they would love to have Dotson throw, so we may have to wait this thing out until Monday,” Filipek said with a laugh.

On Sunday, Filipek said his team - the defending 4A state champions – isn’t spending any time worrying about who might take the mound for the Rockets.

“We can’t worry about what they are doing,” he said. “We can’t control those things. I wished things had worked out better so we didn’t have to wait until Monday, but it is what it is.

“We’ll show up Monday and play as hard as we can.”

Reynolds (21-3), the No. 2 seed, has handled No. 10 seed Roberson (17-10) easily in two games earlier this month that wrapped up the conference regular-season title.

The Rockets won those two meetings 10-0 and 21-9.

“It’s not any fun to have to wait this long, but not much you can do with the weather,” said Craig, who had to take his team out of town just to get in a practice.

“The field is OK, but there are still some wet spots. It can’t take much more rain.”

If Craig rolls the dice and decides to save Dotson for the possibility of a best-of-three series, the likely starting pitcher is senior Jordan Pendley (6-1, 3.72 ERA), but Craig said last week Jalen Crowder (0-1, 3.00 ERA in six games) and Jimmy Baumstark (3-0, 1.75 ERA in eight appearances) could also throw.

Whoever is throwing will be going against potent offenses.

Reynolds is getting great production from Dotson, sophomore catcher Cooper Ingle and junior Alex Flinn.

Roberson counters with Will Butcher, Spencer Keehan and Aaron McKeithan, who has returned from an arm injury and has been on a hitting tear, but still can’t play in the field.

Monday night’s winner will play No. 1 Shelby Crest (25-2) in a three-game series scheduled to be played Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The winner of that series would advance to the state title best-of-three series.

Craig said a conference call is set for Monday morning to discuss changing the dates of that series.

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