Though Augusta was spared the wrath of Hurricane Floyd, the storm still made its mark on the South Atlantic League Championship series.
While the GreenJackets enjoyed an off day on Wednesday after the hurricane forced team and league officials to push the series back a day, the Cape Fear Crocs found themselves in a much more precarious situation.
The storm plowed through Fayetteville, N.C., late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, dumping more than 13 inches of rain on the area, while knocking out power and presenting the Crocs with a host of logistical problems.
"We had some stuff to deal with but we worked it out," Crocs manager Frank Kremblas said. "We had no lights at the stadium and had some other things to deal with, but we got out OK."
The team was late arriving in Augusta on Thursday, forcing the start of Game 2 to be pushed back to 7:30 p.m.
Originally scheduled for Wednesday, Game 2 was shifted to Thursday because the Crocs could not find a bus company willing to make the trip in the storm and also could not find hotel rooms in Augusta.
The Carolina League (high Class A) canceled Wednesday's decisive Game 5 of its championship series between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington and declared the teams co-champions.
With the storm honing in on the northeast, it also prevented GreenJackets owner Mike Savit, who lives in the Boston area, and Red Sox farm director Kent Qualls from making the trip to Augusta.
A championship for the Jackets would be the first for a Red Sox farm club in 15 years. The Pawtucket Red Sox won the Triple-A International League championship in 1984.
"I know Mike was especially disappointed he couldn't be here to see us," Jackets assistant general manager Scott Skadan said. "It was just impossible to get a flight out of Boston."
Joe Kerrigan has only been with the club for three weeks, but the 21-year-old infielder delivered one of the biggest hits of the season for the Jackets in Game 1 on Tuesday.
The son of Boston Red Sox pitching coach Joe Kerrigan belted a solo home run to center field off Cape Fear starter Mark Mangum, snapping a 1-1 tie in a game the Jackets won 3-2.
Drafted out of Temple University in the 46th round of the draft in June, Kerrigan appeared in nine regular-season games for the Jackets after a promotion from short-season Class A Lowell. In his only start of the postseason before the championship series opener, Kerrigan was 1-for-2 in the Jackets' 9-4 victory over Hickory in Game 2 of the SAL semifinals.
Kerrigan earned another chance in Thursday's Game 2, batting eighth as the designated hitter.
NEXT STOP, FORT MYERS:
For seven Jackets, there will be little time to recover from the long season once the championship series is over.
Pitchers Greg Miller, Josh Hancock and Mark Cisar, infielder Carlos Leon, catcher Rudy Pena and outfielders Jose Pena and Brian Wiese will report next week to the Red Sox' spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., for fall instructional league.
McLeary was invited to play in the California Fall League and will report to San Bernardino, Calif., on Sunday. Gardner will manage the club, which is made up of Class A and Double-A prospects from several teams.
Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425.
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