Newman coach Trey Guillot wasn’t discouraged after his team lost Game 1 of its best-of-three series Friday.
“The best thing about a 2 out of 3 series is there is a tomorrow,” Guillot recalls telling his team after the loss. “But then they took our tomorrow.”
They, in this case, was the LHSAA.
The LHSAA’s rule on playoff series affected by weather delays needs to be fixed.
Newman and Northlake Christian, along with three other schools in the state, were affected by the rule that penalizes teams that lose the first game of the series.
The rule states that a series has to be completed before Monday.
Specifically, it states that: “If only one game has been completed due to any reason prior to the Monday after the end of the series, the series shall be reduced to a single elimination game, and the game that was played shall be the game of record.”
Newman and Northlake Christian both lost the first game of their respective series against Riverside and Episcopal.
Mother Nature prevented them from playing any more games before Monday, thus eliminating them from the playoffs.
But don’t blame this one on the LHSAA. The rule was written and submitted by the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association and voted on by member-school principals. In fact, credit LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine for enforcing the rule. Many of the LHSAA’s problems over the years has been because of lack of rules enforcement. In this case, the rule was enforced correctly.
Too bad it’s a bad rule that they were enforcing. It needs to be changed, especially considering the rule is different for series that were tied 1-1.
Teams in series that were tied 1-1 were allowed to play a decisive Game 3 on Monday.
The rule that ultimately booted Newman and Northlake Christian from the playoffs was apparently put in place so players wouldn’t miss too much time in the classroom by having to possibly play two games on a Monday.
But the next round doesn’t start until Friday, so there’s time to squeeze in two more games.
“We did everything in our power to get it in,” Guillot said. “It made us feel like we had the rug pulled out from under us.”
Guillot, whose team was the visiting team against Riverside, found two playable fields in New Orleans to play late Sunday night.
Northlake Christian Athletic Director Anthony Agresta, whose school was also the visiting team, did the same.
“Episcopal (located in Baton Rouge) exercised their option not to play because they were the host team and not mandated to travel,” Agresta said.
Who can blame a team for not wanting to give up a home-field advantage that it earned by being the higher seed? Although I’m positive teams would have traveled to Timbuktu if they had lost the first game.
Making things even worse for Northlake, it had actually started the second game and led 2-0 in the second inning.
And unfortunately for Newman, it never got a chance to throw ace Allen Dennis. Guillot was saving Dennis for Saturday’s Game 2 after he had thrown last Tuesday in the opening round.
And who knows what would have happened then.
Three teams (St. Amant, St. Charles and Brusly)lost Game 1 but still won their series.
Perhaps their opponents (Brother Martin, Sterlington and Buckeye) should’ve prayed for rain after Game 1.
Fortunately, rain isn’t in the forecast for this weekend’s second round.
But in case it does, you’d better win Game 1.
Game 2 isn’t promised.
Hopefully next year it will be.