Most of the time, running out of time won’t cut it as an excuse for losing a baseball game.
The lack of a time limit is one of the aspects that make the national pastime so unique compared to other sports.
On Sunday, though, Vanderbilt couldn’t beat the clock. So the Commodores have turned back time.
In attempt to avoid a repeat, Vanderbilt officials announced Monday a time change for the finale of this weekend’s three-game series against Monmouth. Sunday’s start has been moved from 1 p.m. to noon in order to accommodate the Hawks, who have a 6 p.m. flight back to New Jersey.
The change comes a day after No. 2 Vanderbilt lost to Long Beach State 13-9 in just eight innings.
The Dirtbags also needed to board a plane for a 6 p.m. departure, in their case to California. With a 1 p.m. start, they figured they would have plenty of time to get to the airport. But a game filled with 22 runs, 26 hits, 12 walks, five hit batters and two errors dragged on.
After the first six innings took three hours — Long Beach led 11-7 — it was ruled no inning would start after 4:30. At 4:45, 3 hours and 39 minutes after the first pitch, the game was called, one inning short.
“We don’t want to potentially get into that again,” Vanderbilt spokesperson Kyle Parkinson said. “We want to avoid that at all costs.”
Fans at Hawkins Field over the weekend got their fill of baseball.
The three games combined took 10 hours and seven minutes combined. The only game that didn’t exceed three hours was Friday’s season-opener. Vanderbilt rolled to a 10-4 victory in two hours and 59 minutes.
Last year, the Commodores played their first six games under three hours. They also had just three games all season last longer than Sunday’s. Two went into extra innings and the other came in the Commodores’ season-ending loss to North Carolina State in the NCAA Regional.
“The pace was slow. I mean we played four innings in two hours,” Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said after Sunday’s loss. “If I was a fan I would have vomited or left — either one. I don’t know if I would have stayed around. It is not fun to watch. That is not good baseball.”
Hurrying to get home shouldn’t be an issue for either team on Tuesday. Vanderbilt (2-1) travels two miles down Wedgewood Avenue to play crosstown rival Belmont (3-0) at 4 p.m. at Rose Park.