As the Centre County Baseball League championship series between Philipsburg and Howard continues, a decision was made by the league regarding a rule infraction in the first game in the five-game series. After the ruling, the series is now 2-0 in favor of Philipsburg.
The Pirates appealed the league’s initial ruling of a forfeit of game one due to a roster error, which gave Howard a 1-0 advantage in the series. Philipsburg then won game two over the Hawks 4-1.
League president Rob Gavlock released a statement Friday announcing the league’s decision.
“P-O appealed the league ruling of a forfeit of game one. The league reviewed everything until late last night, and also today. What was found in the bylaws, is that the rule infraction did happen. However, the game must be played under protest, and league president must be notified within 24 hours after the game for this infraction, for a forfeit win to be awarded. This did not happen. Keeping in accordance with the rules of the league, the league has no other recourse but to reverse its decision and P-O has won the appeal. The score of game one stands, with P-O as the winner.”
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Philipsbug manager Drew Bryan said he “was sick to his stomach” when the initial ruling came down. He said in a statement that it was an “honest mistake” and he felt he had let his team down.
“After game two, we were able to do some research and make a very solid argument to (appeal) the original ruling of the league,” he said. “On the basis of our research, we were able to appeal the sanctions because of rule in the league (by-laws) that the protest by Howard was not made within the 24-hour window of the game. The protest was made two days later. We felt we had a logical appeal and we were right because it was successful.”
Bryan said he and his team were told of the original ruling, in which the Pirates would have to forfeit, just minutes before game two.
“It put a fire under us and just gave us even more motivation to win this,” he said, adding that he and his team were happy to see the process work as it should.
The third game of the series will be played Sunday at Philipsburg at 3 p.m.