HARWICH, Mass. – A heavy blanket of Cape Cod fog forced the suspension of an NCAA Division III baseball regional elimination game Friday between St. Joseph’s and Wheaton.

The Monks trailed 2-0 and Wheaton had a runner on second base with one out in the top of the seventh when the game was suspended at about 11 p.m.

Play will resume at noon today, with the winner advancing to play Bridgewater State at 4 p.m. in another elimination game.

The last Wheaton runner to reach base did so after the game had resumed from an earlier fog delay. Hadi Raad hit a ball that St. Joseph’s center fielder Nate Martin said he lost quickly after it left the bat.

“I saw it off the bat for a split second and then I saw it land about 10 feet away from me,” said Martin.

“This is certainly strange. But we’ll be fine.”

Monks Coach Will Sanborn stormed out to the plate to talk to the umpires and eventually the game was delayed again at around 10 p.m. before being suspended just before 11.

“He didn’t see it. We’re grateful he did see it eventually and could retrieve it and it didn’t turn into an inside-the-park home run,” said Sanborn.

“The situation I’d like to see is we stop it before it impacts the game. This is going to be the last game of the year for one of these teams.”

The fog forced a 20-minute delay at 9:25 p.m. before being called again about 15 minutes after resuming play.

When the game resumed after the first delay, St. Joseph’s got out of bases-loaded jam with a double play on a dribbler to the pitcher.

Reliever Chris Dion got the force at home and catcher Ian Lee threw out the batter at first to end the inning.

Wheaton jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Monks, meanwhile, managed just three hits through six innings: a two-out single by Sam Butts in the third, a double by Todd Keneborus in the fourth and a single by Butts in the seventh.

Lee was the hero for the Monks in their first game of the day when he ripped a two-out double into right-center field to drive in two runs with two outs in the 11th inning for a 4-3 victory that eliminated top-seeded Tufts.

Lee, who worked his way to a full count by fouling off four pitches, said he choked up on his bat and waited for a fastball away when he saw reliever Ed Bernstein tip off his pitch.

“I picked up something in his delivery and knew I’d get something to hit,” said Lee, a senior from Hampden. “I knew (Keneborus) was off (first base) on the pitch and I felt like this was my turn. I needed this.”

Butts started the one-out rally, reaching on an error and moving to third on a well-hit single to right by Keneborus.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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