WARNER—And the winner is----Mother Nature. Again.
For the second year in a row, rain got the better of the Heartland All-Star Baseball Classic held at locations in Warner and Hilldale High School and for the second year in a row Jared Webster was denied the opportunity to extend his coaching winning streak in this event which currently stands at six.
Webster, who was recently named the softball fastpitch and baseball coach at Porter, laughed off the suggestion that the baseball gods were telling him enough is enough.
“No, I don’t think that’s it,” chuckled the coach of the all-stars Navy Blue team. “We just like to give these kids the opportunity to play. You see the chance for rain coming so you play your first game Friday and then try to get everyone in the lineup on Saturday so that they might be seen (by visiting college coaches) just in case something like this happens.”
After sporadic showers played havoc with the schedule on Saturday, it was determined there would be no championship game on Sunday but instead the teams were paired up by win/loss records through Saturday with three games scheduled at Hilldale and three at Connors State where it was hoped that the Cowboys new artificial surface infield would help keep games going.
Overnight showers scuttled the games at Hilldale. but the new field at Connors proved its worth and they were able to get one game in, Black (2-0) beating Vegas Gold (1-1) 7-6 before the Sunday morning deluge hit.
But even after the all the rain, Connors coach and tournament director Perry Keith held out hope that he might delay the scheduled 1 p.m. Navy and Red game. But about 1:30 with the rain still falling he decided that even though the rain appeared to be on the way out and he felt the field would drain relatively quickly once it stopped, it would just be too late into a Sunday afternoon to keep the teams waiting any longer.
“Lightning messed with us Saturday and every time we’d get started the lightning would delay us again,” said Keith. “The new infield did just what it was supposed to. It drained well after the overnight rain and we got to play one game and even an hour ago it was all puddled up and now it’s already drained a lot of that off.
"It’s just disappointing because I was looking forward to three good games here today and it would be good exposure for the kids. It would have a cooler day today and we fought it, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Navy finished 2-0 as did Maroon, and Red won its only game. All joined Black as the only unbeatens in the 12-team field.
So now the scoreboard stands at Jared Webster 6, Mother Nature 2. To be continued next summer.