Rain postpones GJ Rockies’ playoff game

Jeff Anderson from the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department rakes out the first base line Tuesday at Suplizio Field as water sits on the field before the Grand Junction Rockies’ playoff game. The game was postponed and will be played as part of a doubleheader today — if Grand Junction wins the first game.

Several bags of Turface drying compound had Suplizio Field playable late Tuesday morning.

Then another storm cell moved in about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, with a steady drizzle wiping out all the work that had been done.

With yet another cell expected Tuesday evening and night, the Grand Junction Rockies postponed Game 2 of the Pioneer League South Division playoffs against Idaho Falls.

The teams will play a doubleheader today, with Game 2 of the best-of-three series at 2:05 p.m. If the Rockies win, Game 3 is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

Fans with tickets for Game 2 will be allowed to stay for Game 3, General Manager Tim Ray said.

Because they are playoff games, both games will be nine innings. During the regular season, doubleheaders are shortened to seven-inning games.

Several members of Colorado Mesa University’s baseball team, including head coach Chris Hanks, wearing dress slacks and shoes, arrived Tuesday afternoon to help the four-man stadium field crew drag the tarp onto the infield.

A small puddle had formed at first base and several spots in foul territory had standing water. Rain dripped off bunting that had been hung around the stadium for the playoffs.

Once the game was postponed, players headed home to catch up on some sleep after their all-night drive back from Idaho Falls. The Rockies lost 7-1 in the playoff opener Monday night.

The field wasn’t covered during Monday’s storm, because grounds crew members were working to prepare the field when the storm hit.

Bill Johnson, who runs the grounds crew during the day, said he was mowing when Monday’s downpour hit, and there was no chance to get the tarp on the field during the storm. It takes at least a dozen people to manage the tarp, and once the field is wet, it’s better to leave the tarp off and let the drainage system work, then use drying compound on the dirt.

Because of the threat of another storm Tuesday night, the tarp went on the wet field to prevent more water gathering overnight.

Johnson said he started putting drying compound on the infield starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Workers had dragged the infield a couple of times and had it in good shape, considering the amount of water the field took on the past two days.

The South Division champion will host the first game of the Pioneer League Championship Series on Saturday, so the teams could play Thursday if the weather doesn’t clear today.


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