After another massive downpour hit the area Monday morning, making the original game location at unplayable, it wasn't until late in the afternoon that the Rams and their hopeful gameday opponent, , were able to find someplace else suitable to play.
And then, even though the field at the former Westminster Christian Academy, now known as Ladue's West Campus looked fantastic, especially considering all the earlier rain, it took more than a half an hour to convince the game umpires that the playing surface was dry enough to play on.
But once head coaches Rob Garrett of Ladue and Fred Friedman of Parkway North were able to convince the umps that the field was indeed safe, the Rams and Vikings staged a wildly entertaining ballgame, that included 23 hits and 13 runs, which North eventually won over Ladue 8-5.
"It was good, once we finally got started," Friedman said. "Around noontime, I didn't think we'd be able to play at all. But our guys were ready to go. They really wanted to play today."
That's not surprising, considering the small dimensions of the field, which were only 320 feet down the left-field and right-field lines, just 340 feet in the power-alleys, and a tiny 360 feet to straight-away center-field.
The players from both sides seemed to be salivating over the chance to play on such a small field.
Surprisingly though, only one player, North's Justin Campbell, was able to smack one over the wall on Monday.
It was his first, and the team's first homer of the season, and it came on the first pitch he saw in the top of the first inning, for a two-run shot that gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead.
"I was happy for him," Friedman said. "Because he's got that kind of power. He just hadn't hit any out yet this year.
"But that was good, because it kept our guys from trying to hit balls out. Hopefully, Justin will stay with his same approach, and won't get caught up in trying to hit more out."
Part of the reason nobody else was able to go deep on the small field, was the outstanding work of starting pitchers Connor Ladiq and Rob Ewald.
Ladiq, a lefty from Parkway North, who wound up getting the win for the Vikings, went five innings and only allowed two earned runs against a potent Ladue lineup, which features top power-hitting college prospects Lex Kaplan, Turner Miller, and Jason Sandler, among others.
Ewald went four innings and only gave up four earned runs, against a North club that has a current unbeaten string of eight games, and only lost twice in 14 games in the month of April.
"We just told the guys, it's a great time to be playing our best ball," Friedman said. "We're playing games everyday. We need to play games, we don't need to practice. And we're really, really playing well. It's exciting."
Ladue made Monday's game more exciting when the Rams tied it at 3, on an RBI groundout by Kaplan, in the bottom of the third inning.
But that just set up the decisive rally of the game in the top of the fourth, when North strung together four straight, two-out hits, including an RBI triple by Connor Faron, a run-scoring single by Daniel Brodsky, and an RBI double by Michael Bozarth.
"We had our chances to get out of that inning," Garrett said. "We just didn't make pitches the way we needed to."
Ladue did pull to within 6-5 though, thanks to single runs in its halves of the fourth and fifth innings.
Leadoff man Daniel Sheinbein drove in that fourth run with a two-out hit of his own, and teammate Sandler, who had three hits and two RBIs, did the same an inning later.
But the Vikings were able to put the game away in the sixth, with another two-out rally, which was capped by a scorching two-run, two-out double off the bat of sophomore catcher Garrett Taylor.
"We've been getting some good contributions by a couple of the underclassmen," Friedman said. "Garrett had a big hit for us. Our first reliever today, Joey Reeves, is a freshman. He threw a good inning. So it's all coming together for us, right at the right time."
North is now 13-6-1 overall this season, and 4-0 in league play, which puts the Vikings in first place in the Suburban South Conference standings, 1/2 ahead of Rockwood Summit and Webster Groves.
Ladue, which has already clinched the Suburban East Conference title, fell to 14-6 on the year.
Both teams will be right back in action with a pair of neighborhood rivalry games in the next couple of days.
North will be on the road again on Tuesday, with a matchup against district rival Parkway Central, while Ladue will play a road game at John Burroughs on Wednesday.
REMAINING BASEBALL SCHEDULES
PARKWAY NORTH LADUE
May 1 at 4:15 pm May 2 at John Burroughs 4:15 pm
May 2 at Wentzville Timberland 4:15 pm May 4 vs. Francis Howell Central 4:15 pm
May 3 vs. Seckman 4:15 pm May 8 vs. 4:15 pm
May 4 at Ft. Zumwalt West 4:15 pm May 9 vs. Kirkwood 4:15 pm
May 7 at Kirkwood 4:15 pm May 10 at Ritenour 4:15 pm
May 10 vs. Troy (MO) 4:15 pm May 14-19 Districts at Ritenour TBA
May 14-19 District Tournament at TBA