CWS finale between Arizona, Coastal Carolina postponed amid storm

ByMitch Sherman ESPN logo
Thursday, June 30, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. -- The decisive third game of the College World Series finals between Arizona and Coastal Carolina was postponed Wednesday night until Thursday because of stormy weather.

First pitch is set for 1:08 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Rain and lightning in the area forced a delay of 2 hours, 23 minutes Wednesday before the postponement was announced.

More rain was forecast after midnight, which could have forced another delay if the game started after 10 p.m. locally.

"I think they decided that's probably not what's best for the players," Arizona coach Jay Johnson said.

Arizona (49-23) won 3-0 on Monday in the opening game of the best-of-three series. The Chanticleers (54-18), seeking their first national title, won 5-4 on Tuesday.

Johnson and CCU coach Gary Gilmore said they agreed with the decision to play Thursday.

"I'm very pleased," Gilmore said.

The Chanticleers planned Wednesday to start junior right-hander Alex Cunningham over ace Andrew Beckwith. Gilmore said he hoped to get three innings from Cunningham, who has not worked as a reliever, before handing the ball to Beckwith.

Beckwith, a 14-game winner, threw a complete-game shutout Friday against TCU.

Junior right-handed Bobby Dalbec was set to start for Arizona. Dalbec pitched seven innings Saturday in the Wildcats' win over Oklahoma State. The status of senior ace Nathan Bannister, who left Friday in the third inning against the Cowboys with arm soreness, remains unknown.

"I think it helps both teams, and I think that's probably what's best for both staffs and all guys throwing," Johnson said of the pitching situation. "We'll go back and look at it tonight and figure out if what we set out to do is still the best thing."

This College World Series will set a record with 17 games played and extend to at least June 30, the latest date in the event's 70-year history.