All but one of the 17 players on the current roster of Lake Worth Trinity Christian, which is slated to play Cambridge in today's Class A state semifinals in Port St. Lucie, have been suspended by the Florida High School Athletic Association.
If Trinity cannot field enough players — they must have nine — it would have to forfeit the game and Cambridge would advance to its second straight state title game without throwing a pitch.
The suspensions result from a brawl between Trinity Christian and Miami Brito during Game 2 of Friday's region final series.
The FHSAA confirmed it told Trinity Christian that five players ejected from the game were suspended for four games. The other 11 were suspended for two. Only catcher Phildrick Llewellyn was not punished.
The brawl began after Llewellyn, 5 feet 7, 145 pounds, was run over and knocked woozy by Daniel Bolanos, a 6-5, 230-pounder, trying to score.
Trinity can add junior varsity players to its roster, but it would cost $50 for each. The team has until 3 p.m. today, two hours before the 5 p.m. scheduled game time, to submit their updated roster.
"I would like to play a legitimate team," Cambridge coach Rick Shears said. "That's what you come to the final four for. We support whatever the FHSAA's decision is."
Trinity Christian coach Miguel Cuello told the Palm Beach Post that filling his roster with JV players was "ridiculous" and would not be an option. He also told the newspaper he is seeking a court injunction to restore his players' eligibility.
Eduardo A. Encina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org