For several seasons now, the Davis County Classic has been one of the state’s premier early-season baseball tournaments, and this season’s classic was no exception, with Class 3A #6 Fairfield and Class 1A #3 Van Buren joining Keokuk and the Mustangs in the four-team field. Unfortunately, bad weather has plagued the tournament the past two seasons. The 2013 edition never got started due to rain, and this season, rain wiped out the consolation and championship games.
The tournament started under bright sunshine on Saturday, with the host team taking on Fairfield. Davis County was in position to pull the upset, taking a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning, but the Trojans erupted for five runs to take control. The Mustangs loaded the bases in the sixth but could not score, and Fairfield hung on for a 7-3 win.
In the second game, Van Buren looked to be on cruise control, taking a 6-1 lead in to the fifth. Keokuk stormed back with five runs in the frame to tie the game, however, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish. After each team plated a run in the sixth, the Warriors scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh, and held off the Chiefs in the bottom half to escape with an 8-7 victory.
The rains that would follow appeared to be especially unkind to Davis County. The Mustangs scored seven runs in the top of the first against Keokuk in the consolation game, but the first heavy downpour prevented the Chiefs from coming to the plate in the bottom half of the inning. A second wave of rain soon followed, and with more rain in the area and a soaked playing surface, the rest of the tournament was called off.
The two ranked teams, Van Buren and Fairfield, were unable to meet on the diamond and decide the championship, but they will get a chance to settle things on June 27, when Van Buren hits the road to take on the Warriors. Davis County and Keokuk are also scheduled to meet this season, in Davis County on June 13.