Edson overcomes soggy baseball diamonds to save provincial tournament
Volunteers broke out vacuums, squeegees and dug trenches
Vacuum trucks and squeegee-wielding volunteers saved the day for minor league baseball players at a provincial championship in Edson, Alta., this weekend.
Edson was all set to host the Alberta Baseball U13 'A' provincial championships, but rain-soaked diamonds threatened to derail the event, said Edson Minor Baseball president Christina Gauchier on Sunday.
The community was already under the gun, having stepped up as last-minute hosts less than a week ahead of the event. Things were going smoothly until they arrived to set up the diamond and found it underwater.
"All over Alberta we've had crazy weather with rain. Here in Edson, it's been no different," Gauchier said.
"We found that there was a huge lake out in the middle of centre field, and then pockets of water standing in various spots throughout the outfield."
Volunteers and local businesses got to work digging trenches, squeegeeing and even sucking up the water with vacuum trucks.
Though Friday games were postponed because of rain, volunteers worked quickly to dry up the field so the tournament could resume.
When the skies opened up yet again, Gauchier said they switched diamonds to one without a lake in centre field, but they still had to use a shop vacuum to suck up water from a hole behind first base.
The weather turned around, and by shortening the games down to five innings from seven, Gauchier said they were able to catch up.
The gold medal game is scheduled for Sunday at 5 p.m.
Edson is about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton.