There were fireworks last night at Nettleton Stadium in Chico, Calif., and in the end, that's what it was all about. The independent league baseball game before the fireworks was just the opener, and there was certainly no encore.
The Chico Outlaws and Calgary Vipers were trapped in an epic, a 6-6 tie after 11 innings seven games into the Golden Baseball League season, and the crack crew of ESPN Classic was beginning to clear its Saturday schedule to loop the game's grainy highlights. The only problem: It was nearing 11 p.m., and if the game went any longer, a city ordinance would have prevented fans from seeing the fireworks they had all come for. The Outlaws' general manager made the obvious decisions: Suspend the game, and boom goes the dynamite.
"That's a tough ending to the night right there," Outlaws third baseman Jason Crosland said.
Calgary veteran left fielder Drew Miller was cognizant of the long-term consequences the decision might have. Currently, both teams are 6-1 and tied atop the Golden Baseball League's North Division standings. With the flow and energy of the game completely gone by tonight, the loser likely will look back at the loss as artificial.
"You really hope that this isn't what decides a divisional race," Miller said. "It's just one game, so we'll see what happens."
Yep, let's hope it doesn't decide the divisional race. Because this time, it counts.
Outlaws, Vipers leave game tied 6-6 [Chico Enterprise Record]