Despite moving the start time up 15 minutes on Wednesday and avoiding the heaviest rain for a while, the battle to determine who takes first place in the Sandusky Bay Conference Lake division will have to wait at least two more days.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and the game tied 3-3, umpires called a rain delay and the matchup between Norwalk and Perkins was officially postponed to 4:30 p.m. Friday back at Norwalk High School.
"I thought we were going to get the game in," Norwalk coach Wes Douglas said. "I think everybody agrees that the field is not playable right now. There is not any gray area."
The Truckers (13-7, 5-2) tied the game just before the game was called. Eli Obringer singled and stole second to lead off the inning. Perkins' starting pitcher Luke Walton bounced back to get a flyout and a groundout, but Sam Battles singled to bring in Obringer to tie the game.
Tony Weisenburger then reached on the Pirates' third error as Perkins coach Chris Walton brought in Blake Smith to pitch. The rain intensified as Smith warmed up before the decision was made to halt the game.
"What I was worried about with the way the conditions were was a wild pitch because it was so slippery on the mound," coach Walton said. "I did not want to lose a chance at a championship because of the field conditions."
Perkins (14-5, 6-2) surged ahead in the fourth inning as the first bit of rain started to fall. Smith walked before Spencer Klein singled. Garrett Baker then registered a sacrifice fly off of Norwalk pitcher Nolan Flowers. Braden George followed with a triple on a ball that was misplayed in the outfield by the Truckers.
Tyler Walton then smacked a RBI single and Jason Majoy walked to continue the inning. But, Flowers got Sam Myers to ground out and Luke Walton to fly out to end the threat.
"I think we were seeing Nolan's curveball a lot better," coach Walton said. "We had some good swings on the curveball. He left some balls up in the zone a little bit. I don't know if he got tired or what, but he was not as crisp as he was in the first two or three innings."
Norwalk scored single runs in the first and third inning. Garrett Obringer singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ian Minor in the first inning.
The Truckers doubled the lead later as Eli Obringer singled with one out. Nate Adelman was then hit by a pitch before Ian Minor hit into a fielder's choice. An errant throw in an attempt to pick off Obringer at third allowed a run in, and Norwalk led, 2-0.
"Nolan was sharp early," Douglas said. "He elevated a few balls there and they put them in play."
Flowers' day ended when Dylan Nason led off the fifth inning with a double. Thomas Gfell came in for his fourth appearance in five games for Norwalk. Smith bunted Nason to third before Gfell hit Klein. But, a groundout back to Gfell on the mound and a flyout ended the Perkins momentum.
"Obviously, we would have liked to have kept going," Douglas said. "You can not control those things. I like where we are at."
Leighton Battles, the lone senior that Norwalk honored before the game, will be batting against Smith when the game resumes. Battles had a sacrifice bunt and walk on Wednesday.
"I loved Nolan's composure today," Douglas said. "I really liked his attitude to start the game. When we got two runs, I thought we were sitting pretty good. Things changed in a hurry."
Walton allowed four hits while walking three.
"Luke did well," said coach Walton of his freshman son. "It obviously was not his best performance, but he battled. Norwalk did not blister the ball against us by any means."
Flowers gave up three runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out five and threw 89 pitches.
"We had our top two pitchers available the entire game," coach Walton said. "Now we have Blake coming in and ready Friday. He will start out with that situation and I feel comfortable with our senior No. 1 starter coming in."
Perkins is scheduled to return to action today against Huron while the Truckers will have the day off before Friday's resumption.
"It has been a good high school baseball game so far," Douglas said. "We will get a practice in tomorrow and come back Friday. Then, it’s back to 0-0."