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Rain washes out wild-card playoff games

Baseball: Hoover High and St. Francis forced to wait until today to compete against wild-card foes on the road.

May 18, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

GLENDALE — The St. Francis High and Hoover baseball teams planned to board buses for their respective CIF Southern Section Division II wild-card road games Tuesday afternoon.

After rain fell early Tuesday and caused unplayable field conditions, those plans were quickly quashed.

Instead, St. Francis and Hoover will participate in their postseason games today — weather permitting.

St. Francis (14-13) will face Peninsula (19-8-1) and Hoover (9-16) will meet Bellflower (16-8) at 3:15 p.m. The weather didn't do the teams any favors. All first-round games are set for Thursday, thus leaving the wild-card teams with no time to prepare for their next opponents.

CIF Southern Section Director of Communications Thom Simmons said that if wild-card games are called off today because of rain, they would be moved to Thursday and the first round would take place Friday.

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St. Francis Coach Brian Esquival said St. Francis and Peninsula, located in Rolling Hills Estates, agreed to postpone their game around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

"We don't know how much rain fell in Peninsula compared to other areas," St. Francis Coach Brian Esquival said. "Maybe their field doesn't drain well, so they felt the need to postpone.

"It's supposed to rain [today]. If it's a go, then we will know in the morning."

Esquival, whose team finished fourth in the Mission League, said the Golden Knights won't alter any of their preparations against a Peninsula squad that finished second in the Bay League.

"Nothing will change," Esquival said. "[Starting pitcher] Joey Malham will get the ball and we have an extra day now to think about Peninsula."

The winner of the St. Francis-Peninsula contest will meet host Chino Hills, which won the Sierra League championship.

Hoover Coach Joe Cotti, whose team placed fourth in the Pacific League, said there are plusses and minuses with the postponement.

"All we can do is continue to get ready for Bellflower," Cotti said. "If you win [the wild-card game], then you can't prepare for your next game.

"All you can do now is take care of business by winning the first one."

Hoover will make its first trip to the playoffs since 2008. Bellflower took third in the Suburban League.

The Hoover-Bellflower winner will face Redlands, which took first in the Citrus Belt League.

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