High school baseball players and coaches from South Vermillion were waiting Monday night to learn whether or not they would have their season continue as a result of a violation of the pitch-count rules at Saturday's Class 2A Park Tudor Regional.
The Wildcats lost 7-6 Saturday night to Indianapolis Scecina when Scecina scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Wildcats had taken the lead in the top half of the frame.
Scecina's winning pitcher finished the game with 117 pitches. That same pitcher, however, had appeared in relief earlier in the day and thrown 17 pitches against Union County. That's a total of 134, and regular-season violation of the pitch-count rules — one of which is no more than 120 per day — would result in a forfeit, according to South Vermillion coach and athletic director Tim Terry.
"I emailed Robert Faulkens [Indiana High School Athletic Association assistant commissioner in charge of baseball] on Sunday," Terry told the Tribune-Star. "Then I called him on Monday, and his office said he was on his way to Scecina."
Sometime Monday, Terry also talked with Scecina athletic director Jason Kehrer. "He told me, 'We did screw up,' " Terry reported.
South Vermillion assistant coach T.J. Terry, the head coach's son, had gone to the press box at Park Tudor to check on pitch-count totals and was told, "It's up to the dugouts," Tim Terry added, but information about the Scecina pitcher's relief appearance and his 17 pitches was reported on Game Changer.
By 10 p.m. Monday, however, Terry and the Wildcats had heard nothing from the IHSAA, making the coach wonder if the organization would make the player ineligible for this weekend's semistate game at Jasper against Southridge instead of sanctioning the entire team.
If that became the case, Terry wondered, why wouldn't a team simply violate the rule if it meant winning a tournament. Why wouldn't Northview have used ace Braydon Tucker in relief in the crucial seventh inning against Terre Haute South in the sectional, he speculated. If he had to sit out a game, he would still be able to pitch a regional championship game in that scenario.
"All year long, if you use a pitcher too long it's a forfeit," Terry said. "And if we're going to play [this coming Saturday], we need to know so we can practice."