BRANDON SPECK: Hamilton may be in Pearl after all

Editor’s Note: This column appeared in the Monroe Journal today before the MHSAA decision to make Bruce forfeit and send Hamilton to the championship series.

I postponed writing this column until almost too late to get it in.
Even that backfired.
As Amory baseball, Smithville, Hatley and Nettleton softball teams were punching tickets to state title games, Hamilton baseball found itself in limbo.
After a 6-5 loss to Bruce on Saturday, Hamilton was out…until…
Until it was discovered that Bruce pitcher Caleb Hanley had pitched more than the mandated 17 innings allowed by the Mississippi High School Activities Association.
Word on Tuesday morning was that the MHSAA was discussing the matter and that a ruling was to be handed down later that day.
As the day went on, a ruling was pushed off until Wednesday.
So what’s the big deal?
Here’s the big deal.
If Hamilton had gotten beat 12-0 Saturday, I’m sure no one would even want to approach this topic, especially Hamilton.
However, a one-run game was directly affected by the broken rule.
That’s the exact reason we need the matter discussed and ruled on by the MHSAA. Because we have no idea what would have happened if Hanley would have been pulled earlier.
We know that Hamilton hit the reliever pretty good. Would they have done so had the starter been pulled earlier? Maybe. Maybe not.
We don’t know.
And because we don’t know, it deserves a review.
Forfeit from Bruce? A rule was broken afterall. Ignorance of the law is never allowed to be an excuse.
A Game 4 to decide the outcome? Will the pitcher in question be allowed to play?
Did Bruce do it on purpose? Hopefully not, but even still, accidentally or not, rules are rules. And if they’re not going to be enforced, why have them?
Believe me, Hamilton wants no part of this, but due to the nature of the situation, they don’t have a choice but be involved.
Bad for all involved? Yes, in a way. But at the end of the day today, what’s good for all is a solution.

Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal