HOOVER, Ala. – Rain delays and bad weather are part of baseball. No one will soon forget the legendary weather delay during Game 7 of the World Series last year, as the Chicago Cubs used it to readjust and capture their first title since 1908.
Of course, most delays don’t get to be that dramatic and exciting. It certainly is not part of the plan while playing in Alabama the week before June That’s especially true when the games come during the most important week of a team’s collegiate season.
That’s what 10-seed Missouri had to work through during its first two days of the SEC Baseball Tournament. The Tigers are on the outside looking in of the NCAA tournament at this point, so every game could be their season on the line. Somehow, the Tigers were victims of both a 106-minute rain delay on Tuesday and 81-minute delay on Wednesday.
“As a true competitor, you can’t make excuses because that’s part of the game,” Missouri coach Steve Bieser said. “We didn’t respond well tonight.”
While it didn’t ultimately seem to affect the final result in either game, it just adds another complication to Missouri’s season. The Tigers came into the game as one of the hotter teams in the conference, winning seven straight games heading into today. However, the rain delays only mess with the rhythm.
“It’s just a little tough to break up your momentum,” catcher Brett Bond said. “It’s just tough to try and get warm again.”
Between the rain and plunging temperatures at the Hoover Met, he was absolutely right. But while the rain put a damper on the week’s proceedings, Mizzou still isn’t complaining.
“The work that the grounds crew is doing, the field is in great shape,” Bieser said. “They’re doing a heck of a job out there. We want to thank the SEC and Hoover Met for putting us in a position like that.”
Missouri now has a win-or-go-home matchup against 11-seed South Carolina at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Ideally, that should mean the Tigers avoid more cold weather. Of course, they are not worried either way.
“We’re from Missouri,” right fielder Kirby McGuire said with a smile. “We’re used to some pretty bad weather. It’s part of the game.”