BREWER, Maine — Early Saturday morning, there was standing water over a healthy portion of the infield at Brewer High School’s Coffin Field courtesy of a downpour Friday night into Saturday morning.
Maine Principals’ Association representatives had decided Friday to push the Class C state softball game between Bucksport and Madison back from noon to 2 p.m. due to the impending rain and then, late Saturday morning, it was decided to push it back to 4 p.m.
“It was the worst I had ever seen the field on the day of a game,” Brewer softball coach Skip Estes said.
“There were two to three inches of water on it in some areas,” former Brewer High School Athletic Director Dennis Kiah said.
Estes and Kiah were two of the nine people who worked tirelessly to get the field ready. The others included Brewer assistant softball coach Butch Grindle, current Brewer Athletic Director Dave Utterback, Witch baseball coach Dana Corey, Phil Pushard and two parents and a player who volunteered after attending an under-14 youth softball meeting at Brewer High.
Estes said they used two pumps to drain the water off the field and Utterback borrowed a roller sponge/barrell from the crew at Bangor’s Mansfield Stadium to remove even more water.
“After we pumped the water off the field, there was still a film of water on it so we used the roller sponge,” said Estes, who noted that the outfield grass was fine.
They used their small tractor to turn over the dirt in the infield and Utterback said they used 130 bags of Turface, a drying agent.
There was talk about moving the game back until 7 p.m., but the crew was able to make the field playable and safe for the 4 p.m. start and there were no issues, such as players slipping, during the game.
Bucksport won the game 2-1.
“The crew did an unbelievable job,” said Dick Durost, the MPA’s executive director.
“It was a great team effort,” Kiah said.
Across the Penobscot River at Mansfield Stadium, where the Class C game was held between Orono and Lisbon, the field required just 30 bags of Turface, according to grounds crew member Jim Owens, and there were no major issues.
Mansfield has a tarpaulin for the mound and the home plate area.
Orono won 4-3.