tampabay.com

Teams welcome day of rest

Soggy fields lead to the postponement of Wednesday's games, giving players time to re-energize.

By SCOTT PURKS
Published March 24, 2005


TAMPA - Huge rain puddles formed Wednesday morning on the University of Tampa's Sam Bailey Field, and Saladino Tournament directors quickly decided to bump the entire schedule back a day.

Today now features four quarterfinal games. The semifinals will be held Friday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and the final will be Saturday night at 7. All games will be held at Sam Bailey Field, the condition of which was the main concern Wednesday.

"The water at one point was standing all the way from first base to third base," tournament director Lou Garcia said. "You've got to remember that it's not my field or the Saladinos' field. It's the University of Tampa's field and we weren't going to tear it up if we had other options.

"The weather reports also said it was going to be beautiful the next three days."

The decision was good news to most teams, who now have another day to rest pitchers, usually the most valuable asset in winning the week-long tournament.

Gaither might have been the most pleased.

The Cowboys were at Sam Bailey at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, ready for batting practice before their 10 a.m. game with King.

"We were all tired because we had to play two games on Tuesday (at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.) to make up a previously rained out game," Gaither coach Frank Permuy said.

"Plus, when you're hosting part of the tournament, (Gaither hosted early rounds) your team is putting in extra work at the site the whole day, working the field and making sure everything is running smoothly.

"So yeah, I think we were all happy to hear the schedule had been moved back a day."

Permuy said his pitching rotation would not vary from its original schedule though a day of rest had been added.

The Cowboys (8-1 overall, 3-0 in the tournament) will start either right-hander Ryan Plate or left-hander Chris Jones against King today.

"Most of our guys were half asleep when they showed up to play (Wednesday)," Permuy said. "Maybe (today) we'll be more awake."