While April rain showers have taken its usual toll early in the minor league baseball season, some South Atlantic League teams have experienced a few nontraditional delays through the first three weeks of play.
The Rome Braves had to temporarily suspend their April 17 home game in the top of the fifth inning after a power outage hit State Mutual Stadium. The Braves and visiting Savannah Sand Gnats had to wait until the following day to finish the game, and the originally scheduled game for April 18 was shortened to a seven-inning contest.
A similar incident stopped play at Lake Olmstead Stadium in Augusta last week. The Kannapolis Intimidators, playing the GreenJackets in the second of a four-game series, had to trot off the field with two outs in the top of the sixth when the stadium briefly lost power and knocked the lights out during Wednesday’s game.
Though full power was lost for only a few seconds, the stadium’s eight light towers took a hit that darkened several bulbs for good. GreenJackets first-year general manager Bob Flannery said the lights were shut down completely, allowed to cool off then turned back on in a process that delayed the game for 25 minutes.
Representatives from Georgia Power and the Richmond County Fire Department confirmed that a fallen tree two blocks from the stadium brought down power lines that caused the outage.
The two teams were able to resume play and finish the game.
TOO MUCH POWER: Rome could have used another power outage Wednesday night. Visiting Hagerstown handed the Braves a 24-2 loss in a game that saw the Suns post 24 hits.
Every Hagerstown position player recorded at least one hit and seven had multihit games. Right fielder Steven Souza went 4 for 6 with a home run and nine RBI. Teammate Jason Martinson drove in five runs with a 3 for 6 night in a game that saw Hagerstown go 14 for 33 with runners in scoring position and last three hours, 10 minutes.
Rome second baseman Fernando De Los Santos was brought in to pitch the ninth inning with his team already trailing 21-2. The Suns got three runs off the first-time pitcher on two hits and two walks.
SEASON OPENERS: Though affiliated minor league baseball will wrap up its first month of play this weekend, some independent leagues opened this season this past week.
The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball started its season Thursday with a pair of locally produced stars making rosters.
Former Greenbrier High School standout James Shanks began another summer with the York Revolution, while Hephzibah High School product Lloyd Turner took the field for the Camden Riversharks.
SOLD: The Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the team playing the entire 2012 season away from home because of a $43.3 million stadium renovation, were sold by Lackawanna County last week.
SWB Yankees LLC, a group backed by Mandalay Baseball Properties, purchased the team for $14.6 million, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune. A lease agreement of at least 30 years came with the deal and the team’s cost to use the county-owned stadium will run $900,000 annually.