We saw a story earlier today about a Division II playoff baseball game that lasted more than 9 hours because of various weather delays and extra innings. What we didn't realize at that point is that there was a game AFTER that game. Colleague Jim P. passed along the link. One of the lucky teams that had its game start after 11 p.m.? Minnesota State-Mankato. From NCAA.com:

Southern Indiana's coach and ace pitcher may have both been suspended for the first round of the Division II baseball championships, but the offense was still intact, and that carried the Screaming Eagles to an 8-6 win over Minnesota State in a game that ended at 2:30 Monday morning. ... The original 5 p.m. start time was delayed six hours because of weather delays during the first game of the day, Kutztown's 2-1 win over Franklin Pierce in 12 innings. The Screaming Eagles now play Kutztown Tuesday night at 7 p.m., while Minnesota State meets Franklin Pierce Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament.

Southern Indiana coach Tracy Archuleta had to watch from the stands because Dylan Leach hit a Grand Valley State batter in the Midwest Region final last weekend after both teams had been giving a warning. Leach, who has a 23-2 career record, was given a four-game suspension. ...

Down 8-1 in the ninth, the Mavericks actually sent the tying run to the plate with one out.

Zach Rowles and Kosuke Hattori both hit two-run singles, forcing the Screaming Eagles to call on closer Wandy Rosario. Cleanup hitter Danny Miller struck out trying to check his swing, and after Patrick Dockendorf singled to bring up the winning run, Matt Kuchenbecker struck out swinging to finally end the day.

There are so many things to love about this:

*Regardless of the circumstances and exhaustion, playing baseball that late at night is the best. We still remember a legion tournament game that started after dark because of various delays. You just have to get the game in. And it was a blast (not just because *ahem* we had the game-winning hit).

*The thought of the Southern Indiana coach watching from the stands because of a D-II baseball beanball war ... well, that just tickles us for some reason.

*Mankato, despite probably being dog tired and loopy by 2 a.m., didn't just go quietly. That's one of the things we always loved about baseball: it's impossible to just bleed out the 'clock' to win a lopsided game. We almost hated that fact on Saturday night. But still, there's always a chance.

*Um, Minnesota State played AGAINST the Screaming Eagles. Any other former "Coach" watchers out there that found that to be a nice coincidence, at the very least?

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