OMAHA, Neb. — Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller, Nebraska coach Darin Erstad, members of the TD Ameritrade Park grounds crew and officials with the Big Ten Network were all in agreement Thursday night.
With wet weather moving up from Lincoln and other points south and west of Omaha, the Big Ten tournament matchup between the Hawkeyes and Huskers has officially been postponed to Friday.
Start time will be one hour after the completion of the game between Ohio State and Maryland at 10 a.m.. Ohio State was leading 3-2 with one out in the bottom of the eighth when the game was suspended.
“It was a group decision by everyone,” Heller said. “The radar showed that the storms were going to hit us and hit us hard. There was a lot of lightning on all sides of us.”
Both teams had already arrived at TD Ameritrade Park awaiting the start of their game. The game was already going to start much later than the originally scheduled 9 p.m. first pitch after Maryland and Ohio State’s game was delayed by an hour and 45 minutes after a rush hour storm came through downtown Omaha.
Iowa was continuing its workouts for a bit longer after the game was officially postponed.
“That’s the frustrating part about playing a 9 o’clock game — you have to prepare as if you’re playing at 9 and then you couldn’t get your workout earlier in the day,” Heller said. “We just have to finish our work and the pitchers all need to get their arms up.”
Weather conditions are expected to improve as the morning progresses Friday, with no rain forecast after early in the morning.
Protecting pitching staffs was a key factor in the decision to postpone.
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“With having the morning open and the weather looking good, it’s better for everyone to try to not risk burning a pitcher (Thursday) and having a chance for our fans to be able to watch the game in a better situation,” Heller said. “You don’t ever want to start a game if there’s an opening to play like there is tomorrow and have any risk at all.”
Grant Judkins is the scheduled starter for Iowa, while Nate Fisher is scheduled to start for Nebraska.
The threat of rain and a late start time was impacting the crowd at TD Ameritrade Park.
With the two rivals set to meet for the first time in the Big Ten tournament at TD Ameritrade Park, a better weather situation Friday could lend to a better crowd.
“Darin and I said before in the right circumstances if we ever did play here it should be a really fun atmosphere for both of our fans,” Heller said.