10,000-plus fans left out in rain as Duel at DBAP is postponed

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 06:56 PM

More than 10,000 fans bought tickets to what they hoped would be another classic between North Carolina and N.C. State Tuesday night.

What they got was a rainout.

Heavy rain forced the postponement of the meeting between the rivals Tuesday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in what was billed as the “Duel at the DBAP.” Both schools and the Durham Bulls are looking into rescheduling the game.

Tuesday’s matchup was the only regular-season meeting between the teams this season. Conference expansion doesn’t allow every school to play every other school, and ACC baseball officials decided not to have permanent partners to preserve rivalries, so UNC and N.C. State were not scheduled to play a conference series in 2014.

The schools and the Durham Bulls set up a non-conference meeting at the newly renovated DBAP, site of last year’s 18-inning ACC Tournament game that set a state record for attendance at a college baseball game (11,391).

Now it’s possible the rivals won’t get to face each other at all. About 20 minutes after the scheduled 7:05 start time, the decision was made to postpone the game. Fans were told to hold on to their tickets in case a makeup date in announced.

The next open date for UNC, N.C. State and the DBAP is Monday, but that would create a stretch of six games in six days for both teams.

The programs and the ballpark are also free on Wednesday, April 30, but that falls during an exam day for N.C. State and a reading period day for UNC.

The Tar Heels already have a game scheduled during exam week — UNC hosts East Carolina on April 29 — but Wolfpack team spokesman Cavan Fosnes said he didn’t know if N.C. State could schedule a game at that time.

Other possibilities are May 5, which is an exam day for both teams, and May 8, which would create six games in six days for the Tar Heels.

This is the second time this year that UNC had a rivalry game postponed — the men’s basketball game against Duke at the Smith Center was pushed back a week because of inclement weather.

The UNC and N.C. State baseball teams have had some memorable meetings recently, including the Tar Heels’ 12-inning ACC Tournament win in 2012 and their 18-inning win last season in what was the longest game in program history.

UNC and N.C. State also played twice in the 2013 College World Series, the Tar Heels eliminating the Wolfpack from the tournament.

Besides the excitement of playing in front of the biggest crowd of the season Tuesday, both teams were also looking for another quality win to improve their NCAA Tournament résumés.

UNC (21-15, 9-9 ACC) is scheduled to face Elon tonight at 6 at Boshamer Stadium. N.C. State (20-15, 6-12) is off until Friday, when it begins a stretch of 15 straight home games, this one against Boston College.


Follow UNC beat writer Harold Gutmann on Twitter at @haroldgut.