Mother Nature gives Catfish second-half title

Doubleheader rainout prevents Columbus from making up two games

(John M. Setzler Jr./MLB.com)

By Marissa Rega / MLB.com | September 2, 2007 1:36 PM

Rain did not dampen Columbus' chances of advancing to the postseason. In fact, it propelled the Catfish to the South Atlantic League Southern Division second-half title.

The doubleheader scheduled between Columbus (41-24) and Savannah on Saturday was canceled due to rain at Grayson Stadium.

The first-place Catfish are 2.5 games ahead of Charleston (40-28) with one day left in the regular season. Columbus would be unable to make up four games Monday, so the inclement weather helped land the crown.

"It was a good race all the way down to the end," Catfish manager Jim Morrison said. "We had some pretty severe weather here. We were planning on playing every game, but I thought because of our past experience, we would do well. All we had to do was win one game."

Friday's contest and Saturday's doubleheader against Savannah also were postponed due to inclement weather.

"It started raining Thursday night, got about a foot of rain between Thursday and [Sunday]," Morrison explained. "Right field is knee-deep in water. It looks like a hurricane has been here."

The Catfish will not play again until Wednesday, when they host Game 1 of the divisional series against the Augusta GreenJackets.

"I would've preferred to keep sharp and play a few games, but we'll do the best we can," Morrison said. "We'll let them hit off our pitchers so they can see some live pitching.

"[The GreenJackets] have outstanding defense. Very strong group of pitchers -- they've been exceptional all year. The plan is to go in there and play defense just as well as them. It's probably going to come down to fundamental baseball," Morrison said.

Augusta's pitching staff leads the league with 18 shutouts and a 2.96 ERA, while Columbus follows with a 3.61 ERA. The teams also lead the league in fielding percentage, with the GreenJackets standing one point ahead of the Catfish at .974.

Marissa Rega is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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