The Putnam County and the Yorkville Christian baseball teams faced off Saturday morning with the Class 1A Somonauk Regional title on the line, but one of the main factors was the weather.
The game was pushed forward an hour, and the grounds crew did an honorable job to get the field ready for play, but in the end, Mother Nature won out in the bottom of the fourth. With the Panthers holding a 6-1 lead, the skies opened up and the game was suspended until 4:30 p.m. Monday.
The action on the field was just as sporadic as Panther hurler Drake Smith started the game by hitting lead-off man Bryce Edwards, who was promptly thrown out trying to steal by PC catcher Nicholas Currie for the first out.
Trey Lambardo singled for the Mustangs but that was all for the inning.
In the bottom half of the frame, Andrew Pyszka launched a 3-1 fastball over the left field fence to start the inning and stake the Panthers to an electrifying 1-0 lead.
After a pair of Mustang errors, PC’s Chris Uzella drove home a pair of runs with a single off of Mustang pitcher Nolan Hooper and Putnam County led 3-0 after one frame.
In the second, both teams were retired in order before the Mustangs mounted their best inning of the game in the third.
With two outs, Edwards coaxed a walk followed by consecutive singles by Lambardo and Andrew Fox with the latter driving in the first Mustang run.
But with two out and runners on first and second, Blake Salek hit a smash ticketed for the left field corner, but PC third baseman Troy Petty flagged it down and won the foot race to the bag to squelch the rally, and the game moved to the bottom of the third with PC clinging to a 3-1 advantage.
The Panthers added to their lead in the third as Currie walked before Austin Mattingly smashed a triple to right center then came home on a wild pitch to make the score 5-1 after three.
The rain again began to fall as the game moved to the fourth where the Mustangs went down in order and the Panthers looked to widen the gap.
With one out, Pyszka started things out with a hustle double before the Panthers worked three straight walks to plate a run.
With the bases loaded and one out, the clouds opened up.
The grounds crew did what they could but the field was deemed unplayable as the rain continued to come.
Other area postseason contests were postponed as well.
The Class 1A St. Bede softball regional final between the host Bruins and Putnam County was pushed to 4 p.m. Monday, the Class 2A Princeton baseball regional championship between Bureau Valley and Erie-Prophetstown was moved to 4:30 p.m. Monday, the Class 1A Wethersfield baseball regional — which is at Howe’s Park in Annawan — between Henry-Senachwine and Annawan-Wethersfield was postponed to 4:30 p.m. Monday and the Class 1A Ottawa boys tennis sectional, which includes La Salle-Peru, Mendota and Princeton, will resume at 3 p.m. Monday.