One of my social media friends posted this on Facebook yesterday: At least it's not snowing! As someone whose work schedule is affected by the weather, especially when outdoor sports are in season, I had to laugh at that thought. This past winter, as you might have guessed from the number of columns I wrote on the subject of snow, was a pain for everyone involved in high school athletics, but I think it toughened all of us up quite a bit. When you have had to go almost two weeks without getting to play a single regular-season game, two straight rainout days seems less inconvenient. I am, however, only speaking for myself. I'm sure there are hundreds of baseball and softball players gnawing at the bit to get out there and finish their division schedules as I write this. And I hope they get to, because the last-ever round of UCBAC Championship games are set for next week, and we need to sort out who's going to play in them.
So, as we head into the final days of the division schedule, here are some more figures that I've been mulling over the past few days, as I sat and stared out at the rain.
One: That is the number of UCBAC baseball and softball title races that have been resolved at the time of this writing, on Thursday, six days before the conference title games are set to be played. The only team that has clinched thus far is Bo Manor softball, which took the Susquehanna (lower) Division crown. Havre de Grace is basically a lock in Susquehanna Division baseball, while both of the Chesapeake crowns are still up in the air at this point. With baseball, you have North Harford and Rising Sun tied at 8-1 (though North Harford has the edge in that one, having beaten Rising Sun, but more on that in a second). In softball, you have C. Milton Wright at 7-4 with one game left to play, Havre de Grace at 7-2 with three games remaining, while North Harford and Bel Air sit at 5-3 and 5-4, respectively. It should be exciting, if it stays dry through Wednesday.
14: That would be the number of innings it took for North Harford to beat Rising Sun baseball, 10-9, last Friday. The game had been suspended on March 31 after the ninth inning, then picked back up in the top of the 10th nearly a month later. North Harford's Nic Hammer ended things in the bottom of the 14th with a walk-off, three-run homer, which has to be the most dramatic ending we've seen in UCBAC baseball this year. This might just be my memory failing me, but the last time I can recall a game going that long was the 2011 3A state semifinals, when North Harford lost to La Plata in a 15-inning marathon. I've written about that one many times in this column, so I'll leave it there.
Five: Is the number of runs that have decided Havre de Grace softball's last three games, all of which were Chesapeake (upper) Division matchups. I could have used any of the four teams that are still in the hunt for the upper-division softball title, but the Warriors, who were promoted from the Susquehanna just last season, and played CMW in last year's conference title game, present a fine picture of how competitive things have been. Havre de Grace lost to Bel Air, 2-1, last week, bounced back to beat CMW, 3-1, then scored a 7-5 win over Harford Tech. CMW rebounded from its loss as well, beating Bel Air, 4-2, on Monday. As I said, if we get good weather from now through the UCBAC title games, it should be fun to see how everything shakes out.