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Weather halts Mustangs game

Medford, Fairfield tied 3-3 after three innings; play resumes this morning

RAPID CITY, S.D. ­ Mother Nature was the big winner Sunday nightas lightning and rain hit the American Legion AA World Series at FitzgeraldStadium.

In an elimination game, the Medford Mustangs (54-10) and Fairfield ofCalifornia (55-15) were tied 3-3 going into the fourth inning when the skiesopened and the game to be suspended.

Weather permitting, the contest will resume this morning at 8 a.m. (PDT)and will be followed at 11 a.m. by the other game scheduled for Sunday night­ a battle of World Series unbeatens between Bristol, Conn., ( 44-9)and Sanford, Fla. (45-12).

In the only game completed Sunday, Rock Island, Ill., (49-2) eliminatedTulsa, Okla., 10-8. Tulsa finishes its season 41-6.

The tournament resumes its regular schedule with a game at 3:05 p.m.and another one at 6:35 p.m.

Having the suspension does the same thing for both of us,said Medford coach Sandee Kensinger, whose team lost to Fairfield 3-2 inthe Dr. Stewart's Invitational at Roseburg earlier this season before beatingthem 10-2 in Medford.

I don't know if either of our pitchers can bounce back. It givessome other guys some more rest, but we're only in game three and we're allin the same boat. It backs everyone up.

I think it hurts everyone equally, Fairfield coach Brad Hansonsaid. Actually, it's probably a disadvantage for the two undefeatedteams because we only have to play six innings in the morning and the unbeatenshave to play in the heat of the day, then come back at night and play thewinner of our game.

Medford had jumped off to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning afterNate Philo walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Alex Chavez lineda single to right and the speedy Philo raced all the way home for the firstrun.

Two outs later, Brian Fachet belted a two-run homer to straightaway centerfor his World Series homer in three games.

Fairfield knotted the score in the third as Jason Brossard walked tolead off the inning as a light rain started to fall. Nick Battle, takingadvantage of a strong wind blowing to left, launched a two-run homer justbefore the game was halted for the first time.

After a two-hour, 31-minute delay, Jason Williams cracked a high floatinghome run over the left field fence to knot the score at 3.

The game was halted three more times before a heavy downpour came withMedford ready to bat in the top of the fourth.

I've never seen anything like this, Kensinger said of therain. After the tarps went on and off, the big one came. I've neverseen a downpour like that.

Hanson expects both clubs to change pitchers this morning. Medford, whichstarted Matt Chubb, could throw left-hander Hans Smith, who powered theMustangs to a 14-4 win over Rock Island (Ill.) in the World Series opener.

Even though it was only three innings, our pitcher (Matt Carlock)threw 65 pitches, said Hanson. With all the rain delays andwarming up again, it will probably knock him out of the rotation. It hurtslosing our No. — pitcher and Medford gains because their ace is coming back;they will have a slight edge.