OTTUMWA – High school baseball teams in the state of Iowa know each and every summer to expect all kinds of different weather on any given day.
Both Centerville and Ottumwa had already experienced the ever-changing Hawkeye State conditions once this season. Rainy weather had already forced the two teams to postpone their original meeting back in early June.
So on Saturday, as they both arrived at Legion Memorial Field for their make-up date, the Big Reds and Bulldogs were hoping for sunny skies to greet them. And for parts of the day, that wish came true.
Then came the parts where dark clouds rolled in. And with it, periodic rain that only got heavy every periodic time it returned.
Finally, in the sixth inning, with Ottumwa ahead 5-2, both teams decided that one final downpour was one too many to wait around for. Even after putting two runners on and bringing the tying run to home plate, Centerville and head coach Bill Huisman agreed to end the game early and provide the Bulldogs with a five-inning victory.
“Maybe we should have waited a little longer to come over. We could have had the whole game rained out,” Huisman joked after the loss for his team. “It was just the timing of the whole deal, but it was a nice game and well played for as long as it was played.”
The final shower brought an end to a very strange day for the Bulldogs and head coach John Jaeger, who experienced even more of it having to arrive at Legion Field earlier in the day to prepare the facilities for the JV/varsity twinbill. As Ottumwa players started to arrive, so did the first clouds and showers of the day.
“When I first got here at 9:45 a.m., it was sunny out. I wasn’t even thinking about rain becoming a factor,” Jaeger said. “We started getting the field ready with the rest of the players and the clouds starting rolling in. We had to put the tarp on a couple of different times and we had to delay the JV game because of the rain. In the end, I think we were fortunate to get at least five innings of baseball in.”