LEWISTON, Idaho — Cumberland was waiting out a lightning delay late Tuesday night in the NAIA World Series.
The Bulldogs had just pulled into a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the first inning when Ricky Coleman singled up the middle to score former Friendship Christian standout Chris Hall, who had led off with a single to center field and moved up on a balk.
Sam Lind followed with a single to left field, putting runners at the corners and putting the former Vanderbilt Commodore in the exclusive 100-hit club in a Cumberland season.
Following the hit, the umpires huddled with tournament officials, who ordered the teams off of Harris Field. The infield was covered with a tarp [Accuweater radar showed rain in northern Idaho but only light rain had been reported from the scene] and the grandstands cleared.
By rule, play cannot resume until 30 minutes have passed since the last lightning sighting.
Oklahoma Baptist, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team at 55-7, scored an unearned run in the top of the first off Cumberland pitcher Kevin T. Greene, who gave up two hits to the Bison.
Earlier in the day, host Lewis-Clark State dethroned 2013 champion Faulkner 6-0. Oklahoma Wesleyan needed 12 innings to oust Tabor 10-9. Jeff Butler, whose base-running blunder was a key play in Cumberland’s 10-inning win over the Eagles the night before, drove in five runs on six hits, including the game winner.
Regardless of how Tuesday night played out, four teams remain in the Series this morning. Tournament officials were to decide today’s pairings following the conclusion of last night’s action.
Historically, officials have tried to match teams who haven’t yet met in the Series. But the Bulldogs [47-19] have faced the other three remaining teams while Oklahoma Baptist have met neither.
If a rematch is unavoidable, officials prefer to match up teams who have gone the longest with out meeting. In Cumberland’s case, that would be Lewis-Clark, a 6-0 loser to Bulldogs last Saturday night. CU edged Wesleyan 8-7 late Monday.
Today’s games are scheduled for 5 and 8:30 p.m. CDT. They will be broadcast on ESPN3, which will also carry Thursday’s championship and Friday’s “if necessary” contest, the NAIA announced Wednesday.