ASHEBORO — On Tuesday evening at McCrary Park in the American Legion Playoffs, High Point Post 87 thought they had stayed alive with an 11-7 win over Randolph County. That victory, however, would only stand until shortly after lunch on Wednesday.
Due to the use of an illegal bat in the fifth inning, the Junior HiToms had their win stripped away, and was to travel back to Asheboro Wednesday evening. The game was to resume in the fifth inning.
The play in question came with Post 45 ahead 1-0 in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Cody Sickmiller dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
The Randolph catcher fired down to third to try and get the lead runner, but the throw went down the line allowing two runs to score. Post 45 coach Ronnie Pugh, then brought the bat to the attention of the home plate umpire, who looked it over before walking out to the two field umpires for further review. In the end it was decided the bat was legal, but Pugh decided to play the remainder of the game under protest.
An 8-run ninth inning by High Point broke open what had been a 3-3 tie at one point, and Post 87 picked up the win after allowing four runs in the ninth. But all that had taken place after the controversial inning was about to count for nothing.
After a lengthy discussion with an umpire afterwards, Pugh decided to follow through on the protest, and the verdict was handed down Wednesday that the bat was made of composite material and not metal, thus making it illegal.
“It did not matter that the umpire said my young man could use it,” Post 87 coach Rob Shore said over the phone Wednesday. “The whole bat is composite and it is not a metal bat, even though all three umpires looked at it and said he could use it. In my opinion, if you search deep down this is the wrong thing to do, but we have to do it. It is not fair to the kids because we went along with what we were told to do.”
“From the bigger picture, let the kids play it out. If they field the ball cleanly and throw our guy out, then there is no issue. Because it goes all the way down the line and we scored a few runs, I think it made it more evident about the bat.”
To read on and to find out about the DeSean Anderson injury, from Zach Kepley Sports Editor at the Thomasville Times, CLICK HERE….