CLEMSON -- There allegedly was no inclement weather in sight when Clemson's baseball game was halted Sunday at Duke.
The storm has yet to pass.
Tigers coach Jack Leggett e-mailed the ACC on Monday, voicing his displeasure regarding the circumstances that led Sunday's game to finish a tie moments after Kyle Parker's apparent go-ahead two-run homer in the 11th inning.
"That's as far as this will probably go," Leggett said of the controversy.
Except the difference in the game's outcome could have a hand in whether Clemson (19-20-1, 7-13-1 ACC) makes the conference tournament.
Eight teams qualify, and the Tigers are percentage points ahead of Wake Forest (7-13) for seventh place with three ACC series remaining.
But the Tigers lost out on a chance to create separation from 10th-place Duke (6-13-1), which is just a game behind Clemson in the standings and faces three of the league's four worst teams down the stretch.
The Tigers, meanwhile, have series against division leader Florida State and sixth-place Georgia Tech after this weekend's home series with Virginia Tech (4-17).
So because they split during the weekend and Duke played one fewer ACC game because of a rainout, the Blue Devils can surpass Clemson in the standings by winning one more game than the Tigers in the final nine conference contests.
Leggett was just as peeved because Clemson had finally mustered a seemingly momentous hit during its prolonged offensive drought.
As Parker crossed home to push the Tigers ahead 8-6 with none out in the top of the 11th, a Duke official went out onto the field and consulted with umpire Paul Guille, who immediately issued a 30-minute delay because the school had received a lightning warning, Leggett said.
Leggett, ejected earlier in the game, said he was then stunned when Duke made no effort to cover the field with its tarp.
"The only thing I can go on is what we would have done here," Leggett said. "And that would be to immediately get the tarp on the field, let it rain, peel it off and play. But nobody moved. And the excuse is going to be that lightning was in a 10-mile radius. It took 40 minutes for anything to get close."
During that span, umpires informed coaches the game would not start back until at least 5:30 p.m., once the storm was expected to pass.
By that point, Duke had dismissed its grounds crew for the day, and Leggett said Blue Devils coach Sean McNally told Leggett he would not endanger his players by sending them onto the field to put down the tarp under the lightning warning.
"We offered to put it on ourselves, but it wasn't going to happen, I guess," Leggett said.
"I just knew if it rained hard on that field, we weren't going to play. And I'm sure they knew the same thing."
Each ACC school is given jurisdiction on how to handle weather-related issues, league spokesperson Amy Yakola said.
League schools have contracts with a weather service in Kansas that, among its services, supplies text-message alerts when lightning strikes within a certain range.
For example, Clemson receives alerts when lightning comes within 12 and then six miles of its athletics venues.
Duke sports information director Jon Jackson said the school gets its only warning when lightning is detected in a 10-mile radius.
Per athletic department protocol, a school official then contacted a local television weatherman for storm details and immediately relayed the information to the plate umpire.
McNally, who could not be reached for comment, said in a statement, "When lightning is in the area, we will not put our student-athletes, coaches or staff members, nor the student-athletes or staff members from opposing schools, at risk.
"No one wanted to finish the game more than I did; it was not an ideal way to end a very competitive series."
Furthermore, Jackson said lightning later struck an area near Jack Coombs Field.
According to the game story on Duke's Web site, rain and hail soon followed, causing the game to be called after a 1 1-2 hour delay.
By rule, the score reverted to what it was at the end of the last completed inning.
"It's one of those things where unfortunately it affected us -- their lack of preparation and not having a grounds crew there or a warning system that allows you to get the tarp out there earlier," Leggett said.
"It's just embarrassing, and unfortunately it comes back to hurt our kids. If it's something they had to pay the price for, it's another story. In this conference, you just expect more."
Clemson returns to action tonight at Western Carolina, then plays Presbyterian on Wednesday at West End Field in Greenville.