Gainesville Regional final: FAU vs. Florida on Monday

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Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan, right, listens as an NCAA official talks to all the coaches about weather delays Sunday, while ground crews attempt to clear the standing water to make the field playable for the NCAA Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium.[Cyndi Chambers/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan had his baseball team on the field, wanting to play a late-night game Sunday in an effort to clinch the Gainesville Regional.

Instead, the Gators (44-17) will have to wait until Monday at 1 p.m. to face Florida Atlantic (42-18), which beat Jacksonville 12-7 in a game that lasted 9 hours and 41 minutes due 5 hours and 35 minutes of weather delays.

The game concluded at 10:41 p.m. and, because of an NCAA recommendation not to start games past 11 p.m. ET, officials decided to postpone the game.

O’Sullivan was not pleased with the decision and engaged in a heated discussion with officials on the field when he was told of the decision.

The winner of the Gainesville Regional will face Auburn in the Super Regional. Auburn knocked off North Carolina State 15-7 to clinch the Raleigh Regional on Sunday night.

The start of the Florida Atlantic-Jacksonville game was delayed 10 minutes to weather. There was then a 5 hour, 25 minute weather delay from 4:10 to 9:35 p.m. due to rain and lightning that blanketed the area from 4-8 p.m., then it took more than an hour for the field to get back in playing shape.

If Florida Atlantic knocks off Florida in the 1 p.m. game, the two teams would meet at 6 p.m. to determine the region champion. However, rain and lightning is forecast in the Gainesville area throughout Monday, opening the door for more possible weather delays.

Florida will have Jackson Kowar (9-4, 3.21 ERA) on the mound to start the 1 p.m. game.

 

 

 

 

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. I can see why Sully wanted to play it last night. FAU had to be fatigued. Also, thunderstorms are forecast for Rainsville(any surprise there?) from 2-4 pm today. So I could see Kowar pitching a few good innings, then the teams being sent in for hours. And Sully would likely not bring him back, protecting his first-round arm. Ugh.

    • It’s not a rule. It’s a recommendation. This, I’m sure, was Sully’s point.

      They could not have started before 11pm. 19 minutes is insufficient to get two teams off the field, allow the teams just a brief moment to plan its lineup and pitcher, allow the umps a break, and get another team out there and warmed up. Not to mention media considerations.

      I would’ve love for them to discard the recommendation and play, even if it meant starting at 11:41pm. But it’s easy to see the drawbacks.