Shelton and Amity will meet again.
After Shelton had its protest upheld that a balk call was misapplied in its recent 7-4 loss to Amity, and Amity protested with the Southern Connecticut Conference that the run in question did not decide the outcome of the game, the SCC ruled that the run in fact did impact the outcome and the game will resume from the point of the initial Shelton protest at Amity Saturday at 12 p.m..
“(My team) is going to be pumped up because we get another chance,” Shelton coach Scott Gura said. “We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
According to Gura, the game will be resumed Saturday at noon at the Old Tavern Complex in Orange.
Amity’s Matt Ronai will be up, down 0-2 in the count, with a runner on first base and one out with the score all knotted up at four in the bottom of the fifth.
Ronai slammed a three-run home run that led to the Spartans huge SCC Housatonic Division victory. Prior to his three-run shot, Chris Winkel, who was on second, attempted to steal third. Shelton pitcher Mike Cowell wheeled and threw him out.
However, Amity coach Sal Coppola protested that Cowell balked, since he didn’t get off the rubber before hurling the ball to third.
“As far as I know about the rule, you can’t throw to an unoccupied base unless you step off the rubber,” Coppola said after the game. “Your foot has to break the rubber and then you can throw to an unoccupied base.”
The call was changed to a balk, prompting Shelton to protest, and even getting a rule book. The call stayed a balk, but Shelton played the game under protest.
On May 7, one day after the game was played, the Greater New Haven Baseball Umpires Association ruled the call was misapplied. Amity protested Shelton’s protest with the SCC, on the grounds that the run did not impact the game since it won by three runs and not one.
On Monday morning, a committee of Carbone, SCC baseball chairperson Jon Capone and athletic directors Tom Marcucci (Notre Dame-West Haven), Anthony Vitelli (Foran) and Anthony Verderame (East Haven) ruled the run did impact the game. Carbone said the game could be played Thursday depending on whether or not the two teams can make it happen.
“Our league policy is next available date,” Carbone said. “We totally ruled out tomorrow because it’s just too early.”
Carbone said there were talks of taking the run away and instead giving Amity a 6-4 victory. However, he and the committee agreed that the outcome may have been different if Winkel was correctly called out.
“In baseball every situation is different,” Carbone said. “Runners on base, a runner on third, it’s not about what happens from it, it’s how you prepare from it and the thinking that goes into it.”
Coppola said he is not mad at the decision, calling it a “tough decision to make.” He said the committee did a good job per usual of taking time to think the decision through. However, he disagreed that the call in question impacted the outcome of the game.
“The next kid hit a home run,” the coach said, “It’s not like it was a sac-fly, it wasn’t a passed ball, it wasn’t a balk, it wasn’t a ground ball or a fielder’s choice that scored the run. It was a home run.”
The SCC press release
Per Southern Connecticut Conference Commissioner Al Carbone:
A protest made by Shelton High School regarding its Housatonic Division baseball contest at Amity Regional on Wednesday, May 6, has been upheld.
Shelton protested the game after a balk was called on its pitcher on an attempted steal of third base in the bottom of the fifth inning.
On May 7, Greater New Haven Baseball Umpires Association informed SCC Commissioner Al Carbone and Baseball Chairperson Jon Capone, along with the two schools’ athletic directors, that the umpires had an incorrect interpretation of the balk rule.
A committee of three SCC athletic directors, along with Carbone and Capone, unanimously affirmed the protest, and agreed that the disputed call had a direct impact on the game.
As a result, the game will be resumed later this week with Amity batting in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the score tied at 4. There will be a runner at first base and one out. There is a 0-2 count on batter Matt Ronai.