It was sunny and warm Thursday in Woodbridge, Va., but that had nothing to do with the Nationals' doubleheader being postponed.
Unplayable field conditions forced the Nationals' Class A Advanced affiliate to postpone the scheduled twinbill against Kinston at Pfitzner Stadium after heavy rains soaked the field a night earlier.
Potomac's director of media relations, Will Flemming, said the farm directors from Washington and Cleveland weren't comfortable with the game being played.
"They walked the field multiple times and ruled it was unfit to play," Flemming said.
Scheduled first-pitch conditions were 88 degrees and clear at 6 p.m. ET. Potomac later issued a statement that said "field conditions forced the postponement... until Friday night."
Potomac's field has been an issue at times this season, prompting the club to rip up the grass in right field and add a new layer of fresh sod last week. Wednesday's rainout did little to help the new turf.
"They laid new sod in right field over the last week and we got killed with rain yesterday, so it was just a combination of it not settling and getting pummeled last night," Flemming said.
The Nationals hope to play their scheduled 7 p.m. game Friday against Kinston. Former South Atlantic League All-Star Daniel Rosenbaum was set to start Game 1 for Potomac on Thursday, while Brett Brach was penciled in to throw for Kinston. It's unclear how the rotations of each team will be affected.
Thursday's postponement also dampened the spirits of many young fans who made their way to the ballpark dressed as magical wizards -- the Nationals planned to host Harry Potter Night on Thursday and had urged fans to come dressed in Potter apparel in exchange for discounted admission.
Earlier in the year, there was some speculation that Washington might opt to send prized prospect Bryce Harper, straight to Double-A Harrisburg rather than let him man the soggy right field in Potomac. Harper was indeed promoted from Class A Hagerstown to the Eastern League on July 4, although it was not an especially surprising move.
"It has been a problem," Flemming said of field conditions.
Fans with tickets to Thursday's game will be able to redeem them for any other contest in the 2011 season. The P-Nats will also give those fans free tickets to any other game.