Just moments after Chris Nowak made York Revolution history, it appeared the umpires were about to clear the record books.
Stepping to the plate to lead off the bottom of the fourth, Nowak crushed a pitch from Bridgeport starter Dan Serafini over the left-field wall. It marked his second homer of the game in as many at-bats and made Nowak the club's all-time home run leader with 43 in a Revs' uniform.
Directly after the homer, though, a storm system that had been moving in finally produced rain, and the umps called for a delay. At least five innings need to be played for a game to count should it end prematurely. So, all the statistics, including Nowak's homers, would have been wiped out had the umps decided to call the
Fortunately for Nowak, the tarp would later be pulled from the field at Sovereign Bank Stadium and the game continued, 1 hour, 16 minutes after the delay was initially called.
Unfortunately for the Revs, the Bluefish would come out on top, 9-6, in the series opener. The game ended at 11:12 p.m. with a couple hundred fans left from the announced attendance of 2,838.
The loss snapped York's three-game winning streak. But with Lancaster (54-34 overall, 9-9 second half) and Sugar Land (39-50, 10-9) both losing Tuesday, the Revs (45-43, 9-9) stayed tied with the Barnstormers for second place in the Atlantic League Freedom Division second-half race. The clubs now sit a half game back of the Skeeters for first place.
Pitching: It wasn't a good night for Revolution pitchers.
Starter Corey Thurman (9-3) surrendered six runs on seven hits in four innings. Reliever Wade Korpi started off the fifth for York after the delay and gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in two innings. The Bluefish added another run in the eighth off of reliever Stephen Penney.
Serafini (4-2) returned to pitch for Bridgeport (40-47, 9-8) after the rain delay and retired five straight batters before Joe Thurston hit his first homer in a Revs' uniform to right field in the fifth. York tacked on two more runs in the sixth, but was held scoreless in the final three frames.
Nowak: It's been quite a turnaround for Nowak since his return to York earlier this month after playing briefly in the Mexican League.
In his first nine games for York after returning from Mexico, Nowak batted just .111 (4-for-36) with no extra-base hits and just three RBIs. Since July 15, he's batting .404 (21-for-52) with seven homers and 17 RBIs over a span of 16 games. With his 17th and 18th homers Tuesday, Nowak is on pace to crush York's single-season home run mark, he set last year with 25.
"Coming back here from Mexico you have a little chip on your shoulder or whatever you want to call it," Nowak said of his previous struggles. "I'm back to feeling the way you should when you're playing at your best."
He's also glad the game got played so the homers would stand.
"I got to do it last year in front of the fans, setting the single-season home run (record)," he said. "I'm glad the game got to finish. I wish we would have won. It still means a lot to me."
Game notes: York third baseman Ramon Castro (undisclosed illness) missed his second straight game, while outfielder Michael Hernandez is still out since injuring his shoulder July 13.
Next game: York will host Bridgeport on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. York left-hander Chris Waters (2-3, 5,90 ERA) will face righty Raymar Diaz.
Roster move: York signed reliever R.J. Rodriguez on Tuesday.
The right-hander returns to the club after pitching in 11 games for the Mexican League's Campeche Pirates, where he posted a 3.86 ERA. He had a 2.36 ERA and 11 saves in 26 games for York earlier this season.
-- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.