The Anchorage Glacier Pilots' pitching staff kept its scoreless streak in tact Tuesday night -- mostly because the pitching mound at Mulcahy Stadium was damaged beyond immediate repair and the scoreless game was suspended in the second inning.
New to Mulcahy Stadium this season is an artificial-turf pitching mound, which lasted less than a month of the ABL season before needing a major repair.
A couple of weeks ago, a tear appeared on the pitcher's landing -- the place where a pitcher's foot lands during delivery. The tear was patched, Pilots general manager Jon Dyson said, but the patch started to come loose during the first inning of Tuesday's game between the Pilots and Oilers.
The game was delayed for 11/2 hours while workers tried to fix the patch -- they even made a quick run to Home Depot -- but the repair didn't get the teams through a full inning before the game was suspended in the bottom of the second. The ballgame ended, but the work didn't.
"After the game we stayed pretty late, till almost 2, and we were back down there this morning at 8," Dyson said.
The original patch, made from turf left over from last fall's installation, was about the size of a 81/2x11-inch sheet of paper. The new patch measures about 5x4 feet, Dyson said.
"The reason we did a big patch is it's not gonna come loose," he said. "Pitchers aren't going to land on the seam. When it was the size of a piece of paper, guys were landing on the edges and pulling it off."
With the addition of a FieldTurf pitching mound and bullpens this year, Mulcahy is an all-turf ballpark. Many of the improvements were done by American Legion baseball, which shares the park with the ABL.
"We're all advocates for turf," said Dyson, who said turf means fewer rainouts, "but we weren't real thrilled when they decided to put a turf mound in because we figured there may be some issues like that come up."
Tuesday's late-night repair job should get teams through this season, Dyson said.
"It's a pretty long-term solution," he said. "At least now we're a little better prepared because we know how to properly fix it. Last night we were trying some really quick fixes but they weren't working."
The game was delayed for 11/2 hours in the top of the second for groundskeepers to make repairs to the mound. The game resumed shortly after 9 p.m., but the repair job lasted only long enough for Oilers pitcher Billy Strode to throw three pitches.
The teams will resume play Monday at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, Wednesday's regularly scheduled doubleheader will go on as planned beginning at 6 p.m.