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Clippers, Rebels pick up where they left off

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Morning Journal/Matt Morrison
Columbiana pitcher Alex Eusebio throws with second baseman Cameron Clancy looking on against Crestview on Wednesday.

COLUMBIANA–Mother Nature strikes once again as the Division III sectional final matchup between No. 6 seed Columbiana and No. 11 seed Crestview was suspended due to a mixture of thunder, lightning and rain on Wednesday at Firestone Park.

It has been a recurring theme for games to be postponed due to weather conditions this season.

“It has definitely been an interesting season as the rain,” Columbiana coach Bryce Franken said. “Mother Nature has not been treating us very well. There was a point for three weeks in a row where we had to play a game basically every single day because of the rain early on, so it is kind of fitting that this is happening right now.”

“Season started with rain now here we are in the sectional finals dealing with rain again,” Crestview coach Todd Kibby said. “Looking forward to getting after them (Columbiana) tomorrow resuming where we are at and hoping to play for a sectional championship.

The game will resume at 5 p.m. today.

Alex Eusebio was at bat for Columbiana with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the first inning when the umpires made the decision to put Wednesday’s game in a delay at 5:05 p.m. when it started to thunder and lightning in the distance. They made the decision to officially suspend the game at 6 p.m. when the rain began to fall along with the thunder and the lightning.

“A rule is a rule,” Franken said. “You have to follow it because it is a safety thing.”

“It is always in their (umpires) hands,” Kibby said. “Obviously I would run through a brick wall to play, but when they deem it unsafe once the game starts it is in their hands and it is not my decision.”

Eusebio blanked the Rebels in the top of the first inning, which included a walk.

The old rivals played at Eastwood Field on April 19, marking the first time the neighboring schools met since 2016. Columbiana won the matchup 3-0.

“It is cool to be playing those guys again,” Franken said. “It is just ironic that this (weather postponement) is happening right now in a playoff game and it will force us to play into a second day.”

“It is always good to play an in-town rival,” Kibby said. “I have know coach Franken for a couple of years now and it is just good to play in town and to renew the rivalry. Hopefully, we look forward to doing that for years to come.”

The winner of Crestview (16-10) and Columbiana (11-9) will play No. 3 seeded LaBrae at 6:30 Monday at Struthers’ Cene Park in a Division III district semifinal.

LaBrae (17-5) beat Lakeview 7-3 on Wednesday to advance.




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