By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
One high school baseball team will represent North Mississippi in next week’s MHSAA Class 2A state baseball tournament at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
But which one?
The Mississippi High School Activities Association is expected to rule today whether that team is Bruce or Hamilton.
Bruce (24-6) thought it had clinched its first visit to the state finals with its 6-5 victory Saturday at Hamilton (21-5) in the third game of their state semifinals best-of-three series.
However, Hamilton officials filed a protest with the MHSAA saying Bruce violated a rule regarding innings pitched in a week by senior right-hander Caleb Hanley.
A source close to the situation confirmed that Bruce had been notified by the MHSAA it must forfeit its victory, which would allow Hamilton to advance.
Bruce appealed the ruling to the high school organization’s executive committee.
An official with the MHSAA and Bruce principal Mark Grubbs did confirm that a decision on the matter would be made today. The state championship best-of-three series is scheduled to begin May 25.
“The only thing I’m certain of is there will be a decision (today),” Grubbs said. He would not confirm if his school had been told it must forfeit the win.
Bruce’s Hanley pitched 42/3 innings Saturday, which gave him 172/3 innings pitched for the week. High school pitchers can only throw 17 innings in a week. He pitched seven innings Monday in a Game 3 against Eupora, six more on Friday in Game 1 against Hamilton.
“This rule has multiple interpretations,” Grubbs said.
Two seasons ago in slowpitch softball, Ingomar accidentally played an extra regular season game and the MHSAA banned the team from that postseason.