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College World Series 2016: Decisive Game 3 postponed to Thursday by weather

Lightning strikes in Omaha pushed the national championship showdown between Arizona and Coastal Carolina to a 1:08 p.m. Thursday start time.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Two and a half hours after the pivotal Game 3 of the College World Series was set to begin on Wednesday night, weather finally forced the NCAA to throw in the towel. The winner-takes-all showdown between Arizona and Coastal Carolina has been postponed to 1:08 p.m. ET Thursday.

The national championship series is tied 1-1 after Coastal's dramatic, season-extending win on Tuesday night. The Chanticleers are hoping to lift the trophy in their first ever trip to Omaha, while Arizona is gunning for the fifth title in program history.

The weather was clear and sunny less than an hour before Tuesday's scheduled 7 p.m. CT first pitch, but a sudden storm front brought lightning strikes and a delay. Sporadic showers and additional lightning strikes remained in the area over the next couple of hours, finally necessitating a postponement at 9:30 p.m. local time.

The delay could have a dramatic effect on the final game, allowing an additional day of rest for a pair of tired pitching staffs that had to toil through the losers bracket last week. For Coastal, it likely means Andrew Beckwith, who already has two complete games under his belt in Omaha, will start on Thursday. The Chants announced on Wednesday they planned to start Alex Cunningham, but another night of rest should be enough to get their ace back on the mound.

For Arizona, it means No. 2 starter Bobby Dalbec will go on four days rest instead of three, likely extending his available innings. It should also give the Wildcats full use of star reliever Cameron Ming, who threw five innings in relief last Friday and made a brief appearance in Tuesday's loss.

How to watch Game 3

First pitch: 1:08 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Online streaming: WatchESPN