Hoots wild game versus Astros suspended by lightning

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 12:01 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It was a crazy Friday night at Golden Park, one that saw a rain delay of over an hour and a half, some “interesting” calls from umpires, three ejections, and less than two innings of play, as the Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots and Gwinnett Astros met in the opening game of a two-game series on a night honoring the FPHL champion Columbus River Dragons.

A strong thunderstorm moved over the stadium just as they were preparing to begin play, forcing a delay that pushed the game back an hour and 38 minutes.

When the game finally got underway, there was plenty more thunder. Astros shortstop Isaac Bouton, who plays for Columbus State lined an extra-base hit to right center field, stretching it into a triple that led to arguments over the close play at third. After Daniel Holley threw a wild pitch that allowed Bouton to score, Hoots coaches McLendon Hill and Howie Shackelford were tossed from the game after continuing to argue the call from the dugout.

River Dragons player-coach Jay Croop started in right field for the Hoots, leading off the bottom of the first on a called strike three that appeared to be wide of the zone. Croop argued with the plate umpire and was thrown out of the game as well.

“I let him know, and I wanted the first base ump to know that he missed a call too and cost us a run in the top of the first,” Croop said. He was scheduled to come out of the game after his at bat anyway, so the argument didn’t actually cost the Chatt-a-Hoots a player. Croop said the experience of playing in a summer league baseball game for the first time in seven years was great.

“It was beyond what I thought. It was so much fun getting to know these guys a bit and being around the baseball atmosphere again. It was incredible.”

The Hoots got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Cameron Gray hit a two-out triple followed by an RBI single by Matt McDade.

They then exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second inning before lightning nearby caused the game to be suspended.

The contest will be resumed on Saturday at 3 pm ET with the Chatt-a-Hoots leading 6-1 with two outs in the bottom of the second.

The regularly scheduled game will follow the completion of the suspended contest.

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