UPDATE: The Hillcats just announced that plans for the tripleheader have been scratched. Instead of playing three games this afternoon, the two teams will meet for a doubleheader. The third game will be made up in Lynchburg on May 9.
This post was initially written when the tripleheader was still planned. The original text appears below:
A rare occurrence will unfold today at Calvin Falwell Field, as the Lynchburg Hillcats are set to host the Potomac Nationals in a tripleheader. The two class High A Carolina League teams face this predicament after a stretch of rainy conditions earlier this week.
Tripleheaders are rare around baseball, and this is believed to be the first in the Carolina League since 1996, when the Frederick Keys and the Salem Avalanche played three straight in Frederick. While the list of reasons that tripleheaders are avoided is fairly long—ranging from the number of pitchers available, to traveling and scheduling complications—certain circumstances forced the two teams to agree to this tripleheader.
Monday night’s game was suspended before it became official, while yesterday’s planned doubleheader was scratched because of an afternoon thunderstorm. Since the Nationals and the Hillcats are not scheduled to face each other between now and the end of the league’s first half, moving the third game to another series would have been impossible. The Carolina League splits its season into first and second half standings, and with the Hillcats leading the Nationals by a mere two games in the Northern Division, these matchups could have an implication on who wins the first half.
The trio of games will get underway this afternoon at 3:00, starting with the resumption on Monday’s affair, which was suspended in the top of the fifth. The two teams will play nine innings in that game, before squaring off in back-to-back seven inning contests.
Incidentally, Potomac was to have to hosted a tripleheader back in 2009 against the Kinston Indians. However, those plans were scratched and the two teams wound up playing a twin bill.