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Sports

April 24, 2013

Rick Teverbaugh: Obscure HCAC rule favors Ravens

There are many things in the world of sports that I fail to understand.

The last thing I needed was one more.

But that’s what I got on Tuesday. It was early afternoon and not a drop of rain had fallen. The radar showed rain moving this way but no storms.

Much of what we planned to cover this week had already been washed away, and that was also the case a week ago.

So I was not too pleased when I heard from Anderson University Sports Information Director Justin Bates than AU’s baseball game against Rose-Hulman had been postponed. I can still recall watching baseball games on that field through a steady rain when Don Brandon was not only the coach but also the groundskeeper. It seemed to me a premature decision.

I vented to Bates, and he replied by telling me that the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference had a rule that if a team travels to another conference city to play and the game or games are rained out, then those games can’t be made up. He offered that coaches are hesitant to have teams make trips when there is a good chance that weather will intervene.

He further explained how that rule might actually benefit the Ravens softball team, a squad where he assists head coach Tony Holloway.

Anderson is 9-3 in conference play and 19-11 overall. AU is playing its final four HCAC games Saturday and Sunday on the Ravens’ diamond.

Saturday at 1 p.m. the foe will be Hanover for a doubleheader. On Sunday, the two games will be played beginning at 3:30 p.m. against Mount St. Joseph.

AU has been nearly unbeatable at home, and those two foes are a combined 8-14 in league play.

So if Anderson can sweep those four games, it will end its season at 13-3 and will be assured of the title no matter what second-place Manchester does. Manchester is 7-3 and also has four league games remaining. The best the Spartans can be after this weekend is 11-3. So the Ravens would win by virtue of a better won-loss percentage.

Manchester made the trip to Bluffton and didn’t get to play. Conference rules forbid the teams try again to play that twinbill.

I plan to attend the Saturday games against Hanover and am hoping for a good start to the weekend for the Ravens.

Last week, AU freshman Sami Frazier was named the HCAC Softball Hitter of the Week. She hit .778 for the period with two doubles, two runs, five RBIs and a 1.000 slugging percentage.

What makes Frazier’s pick even more special is the fact that it marks the second time she has been honored by the HCAC. The first time was April 8, only that time it was as Pitcher of the Week.

The Ravens actually have a home doubleheader slated today at 3:30 p.m. against Ohio Northern.

Perhaps they will really try to play this one. It is non-conference. So what can they lose? Justin?

Sports Editor Rick Teverbaugh’s columns appear twice weekly.

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