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FHSAA explains controversial Springstead ending

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Mon. May 13, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

Springstead cannot appeal the controversial ending to Friday’s Class 6A region final that ended the Eagles’ season, according to the Florida High School Athletic Association.

“Once it’s final, it’s final,” FHSAA spokesman Corey Sobers said Monday afternoon.

To recap: Springstead trailed host Orlando Edgewater 6-5 at the end of the fifth inning. The Eagles scored four runs to take a 9-6 lead in the sixth when it began to rain on the field, which did not have lights.

Umpires determined the field was unplayable and called the game. The final score reverted back to the last completed inning – with Edgewater winning, 6-5.

Though some Eagles fans have accused Edgewater of not working hard enough to repair the field, that’s not reviewable, either, Sobers said.

The scenario is similar to one Plant City faced in the region quarterfinals against Lakeland George Jenkins earlier this month, but there was one key difference.

In that game, Plant City led 2-1 at the end of the sixth, but George Jenkins tied it in the bottom of the seventh when the rain came. Umpires initially said the Raiders won because they were ahead in the last completed inning.

But the National Federation of State High School Associations rulebook has one exception: If the home team ties or takes the lead in the bottom of an unfinished inning, the game doesn’t fall back to the last completed frame. Because George Jenkins had tied the game in the bottom half of the seventh, the game was not supposed to fall back to the end of the sixth.

The contest resumed two days later, and Plant City lost on the first pitch.

“Unfortunately there’s no caveat in the rule where it says it’s a really big game, it doesn’t apply,” Sobers said. “It’s tough.”

Sobers said the rule had never really been an issue until two rare, similar situations happened two Tampa Bay teams within a span of eight days. The FHSAA’s baseball rules committee could look into the rule and make recommendations about whether it should be changed, Sobers said.

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