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After Controversial State College Playoff Loss, PIAA Adopts New Pitch Count Rules

by on July 18, 2018 7:00 PM

Seven weeks after State College baseball saw its season come to a strange and controversial end in the state playoffs, the PIAA adopted new postseason pitch count rules in hopes of avoiding the situation in the future.

At its meeting on Wednesday, the PIAA Board of Directors passed a motion requiring an official pitch counter designated by the playoff site manager for all district and state playoff games.

The board approved raising the maximum pitch count from 100 to 105 for postseason games and the weekly limit from 200 to 210.

Under the previous rule, adopted in 2017, during playoff games both teams kept pitch counts but the designated home team's count would be the official one. And if a pitcher reaches 100 in the middle of an at-bat, he is permitted to continue pitching until a new hitter comes to the plate.

During State High's PIAA 6A subregional game against Erie McDowell on May 30 at Slippery Rock, the Little Lions entered the final inning with a 3-2 lead and pitcher David Shoemaker on the mound. After Shoemaker retired the first two hitters of the inning, the game came to a stop. State High pitch counts had Shoemaker at 97 before he began throwing to the second hitter, while the Trojans informed the umpires that their count had him at 101 when he started. 

Following a lengthy discussion among coaches, umpires and PIAA officials, State College was forced to forfeit since Erie McDowell was the home team and its scorebook considered official for the game. The teams, however, were required, to finish the game. State High recorded the final out, finished ahead on the scoreboard, but lost the game.

“When you have a home team in charge of the official book,that’s like the fox guarding the hen house” Troy Allen, who last week resigned as State College coach, said in June.

“We had four umpires on the field. If you asked all the coaches if they would trade an umpire for an official scorekeeper — so this wouldn’t happen to them like it did to us — I guarantee you they would all say, ‘Absolutely!’ "

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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