The good — there was a storybook ending. Southern Indiana’s No. 1 and No. 3 pitchers had been suspended for four games for hitting batters after being warned in the previous tournament. That meant that SI, now short-staffed, would have to advance to the championship final for those pitchers to play again. Sure enough, that’s what happened, and then they pitched all nine innings in a 6-4 win over the top-ranked team in the country, UC San Diego.
The bad — because teams were scheduled to play every day, there couldn’t be a rainout. As a result, I had to cover the fourth-longest non-suspended baseball game in NCAA history. It started at 1:03 and ended at 10:14. OK, fine, I had the Sunday Times with me so I had something to read, and now I can tell people I was a part of history. But that’s not even the worst part — I also had to cover the game after that, which started at 11 and ended at 2:30 a.m.
But what makes this relevant to the blog is that I also got to spend the week in Cary, where the USA Baseball National Training Complex is located. I sat next to the mayor (also named Harold; click here for his blog) at a pre-tournament banquet, and he had some interesting facts about city.
Though it isn’t mentioned when people talk about the Triangle (Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh), Cary has 140,000 residents. Only 2 percent of those people were actually born in Cary, leading into Mayor Harold’s joke that Cary stands for “Containment Area for Relocated Yankees.” In fact, many new residents are Indian — Hindi is the most spoken language outside of English.
We’re not about to add a fourth city to the Triangle and call it the Square, partly because that shape carries bad connotations. But Laura and I love a good Indian buffet, so we’ll be making more trips into Cary in the future.