Rain makes Trail Jays’ opener against Prairie Cardinals an early must-win

For the struggling Jays the delay in facing one of the league’s top teams might be a blessing in disguise

Perhaps the baseball Gods smiled on the struggling Trail Jays after all.

The squad was scheduled to kick off its North Idaho American Legion baseball schedule on Friday at Butler Park against the perennial powerhouse Lewis-Clark Twins.

But the skies opened up and the saturated field forced the teams to postpone the doubleheader.

For the Jays, who have struggled to a 1-11 record this year, the delay in facing one of the league’s top teams might be a blessing in disguise as the squad looks to find its groove for the season.

And with the match up likely to be rescheduled for July, the Jays should be in mid-season form by then to gauge themselves against the league’s best.

“I think it’ll probably benefit us,” admitted manager Nick Combo.

In fact, Friday’s clouds might have another silver lining.

The postponement also gives the Jays a few extra days to prepare for an even bigger challenge when they host the Prairie Cardinals on Wednesday at Butler Park.

While the Cardinals don’t have the same potent lineup as the Twins, it will be Prairie whom the Jays will be fighting with throughout the season.

With Lewiston hosting the state championships this year, two more teams will emerge from the district playdowns to advance to the Idaho state tournament.

Barring a collapse from the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen, the door is open to a third team – Trail, Prairie or Cranbrook – to grab the other berth.

As always, success in the district is based a lot on the seedings heading into that weekend. And while the districts aren’t until July, there is no time like the present for the Jays to gain the upper hand on Prairie.

“Every series is a must-win for us,” said Combo. “These games will certainly help determine where we sit.”

But the Cardinals will be coming into Trail with a swagger of their own after sweeping a doubleheader from the Twins on Sunday in Post Falls by scores of 6-1 and 4-3.

Nathan Collier led the way for the Cards with two-run doubles in each game while the pitching staff held the Twins lineup to just seven hits over a combined 14 innings.

Combo said the Jays would likely start ace Dallas Calvin in the opening game on Wednesday and was still weighing options on who to hand the ball to in Game 2.

On the bright side, the clearing skies on Monday meant the field should be in perfect shape for Wednesday’s twinbill.

Game times Wednesday are 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Butler Park.

The Jays will host another American Legion foe on Sunday when the Cranbrook Bandits come to Trail for a doubleheader.