LAFAYETTE — The rain was persistent and the radar wasn’t promising Saturday, so NCAA tournament officials made the decision relatively early to wait for better news Sunday.
The Lafayette regional game between Louisiana-Lafayette and Arizona was postponed until Sunday because of the bad weather in the area. That decision was made around 4 p.m., when it became evident that the teams weren’t going to be able play two games by a reasonable hour.
Princeton and Sam Houston State were originally scheduled to play an elimination game at 1 p.m. Saturday, but with no end in sight to the rain washing over the area, the teams returned to their hotels roughly half an hour after the originally scheduled start time. The two teams are now scheduled to play at 8 p.m. Saturday.
This decision affects the remainder of the tournament schedule.
The Cajuns and Wildcats are now scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday for a chance to advance to the regional championship.
The loser of that game will play a doubleheader Sunday, with the second game coming at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Princeton and Sam Houston contest.
This guaranteed the championship game will be played no sooner than Monday. The tournament could not try to sneak the regional championship in late Sunday because there would have been a possibility of a team playing a tripleheader.
Since there is a possibility of a Game 7, which would require a double-header on Monday, the remainder of the games in the tournament will be scheduled to start at 1 and 7 p.m.
Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux said after his team beat Princeton 5-3 in the regional opener that sophomore left-hander Gunner Leger would start against Arizona.
The Wildcats are rolling with TBA — to be announced. Arizona does not plan on releasing its starting pitcher for Sunday’s game until roughly an hour before the game starts.
Arizona chose not to announce its starting pitcher in advance of its first matchup against Sam Houston State as well, waiting until shortly before the game started to reveal Nathan Bannister as the starter. Bannister went on to throw seven shutout innings.
The Cajuns could face junior left-hander JC Cloney, who went 6-3 with a team-best 2.38 ERA this season. Cloney and Bannister led the Wildcats with 15 starts entering the regional, and no other Arizona pitcher has started more than eight.