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Heavy rains delay WIAA State Baseball Tournament by 5 hours

"Safety is paramount," says WIAA officials

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV)--Tuesday night's heavy down pours forced day 2 of the WIAA State Baseball Tournament to start 5 hours late Wednesday.

Timberrattler's groundkeepers crews began rain clean up around 5:30 a.m.

Over the last two days the Fox Cities picked up close to 4 inches of rain.

It started off as an active morning for team Mother Nature Wednesday—puddles on deck, bases covered and heavy sweepers eyeing deep left to knock some water outta the park.

Head Groundskeeper for the TimberRattlers, Jake Hannes, said, “That was an awful lot of rain.”

Picking up two inches overnight it was a triple delay for the WIAA State Baseball Tournament Day 2.  

In the bottom of the morning—relief sweepers were brought in to help. 

A crewmember takes his sweeper back—finds the sweet spot and makes a splash.

And the 8 a. m. game gets underway at 1:15.

“It’s actually a roller squeegee.  It actually pushes the water away from an area and diverts the water to different areas to dry things out," said Hannes. 

Crews weren’t caught off base here.

Dir. of Communications for the WIAA, Todd Clark, said, “We do have radar in here and the Timber Rattlers work with the weather people they deal with to get the best available information.”

Hannes--known as Ace around here-- heads down the alley he pushes his foot back and checks to ensure the field is safe for the players.

David Bahr, the Head Baseball Coach for Lake Country Lutheran High School, said he's not too worried about the rain.

“I don’t know that there’s anything we can do at this point other than say both teams are under the same conditions," he said.

Will folks here see another rain check? Say it ain't so Joe.

“Depending on the weather—how the rain holds—we will play as many games as we possibly can today so that tomorrow we have the normal championship schedule," said Clark.

If Mother Nature tries to pull another fast one—crews will be ready. 

Because it ain’t over until it’s over. 

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