Summer storms are a general part of the climate in the Midwest, especially the St. Louis area.

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Such a storm, accompanied by lightning, forced an early end to a pool-play game between Edwardsville and the Springfield (Ill.) Arsenal with the Arsenal leading 5-0 through three innings. The storm also forced postponement of a scheduled game between the Tigers and the Recruits Baseball Club to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tigers' JV field, which is an artificial-turf field.

“Anytime you have weather issues, you address it as best you can,” said Tiger coach Tim Funkhouser following the day's postponements. “We had lightning come through and then the rain, and you want to make things as safe as you can. The sun did come out for a bit, but there were some places on the field that needed to dry out and they didn't.”

As for the game against the Arsenal went before the storm came, Funkhouser felt his starting pitcher, Dan Pichotti, did fairly well. “Dan made some good pitches, but he got one over the plate and it wound up going for a home run,” Funkhouser said. “Some of our kids were playing JV or getting some spot time on the varsity, so they really haven't seen live pitching in a couple of weeks.

“We just need to create some runs and get a few more at-bats.”

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The Arsenal got out in front in the second, when Devon Thomas and Dan Gardner both walked to bring up John Plattner, who took a 0-2 offering from Pichotti and sent it over the fence in left-center for a 3-0 Arsenal lead. In the third, Todd Griffin led off with a double and stole third before Brian Zanger walked. A wild pitch brought home Griffin and an error scored Zenger to make it 5-0.

The Tigers were getting ready to bat in the top of the fourth before a lightning bolt suddenly struck through gathering storm clouds, forcing an immediate halt to proceedings. Heavy rains followed the lightning strike, forcing an early end to the game.

The semifinals and final of the tournament are set for the Missouri-St. Louis baseball field beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday.


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