PENN YAN — After a Cinderella run that took them within one win of a Class B2 final appearance, No. 8 Le Roy’s season has come to an abrupt end in their semifinal matchup with No. 5 Penn Yan due to the painful enforcement of a longstanding rule.
Leading 7-3 late in the game against the Mustangs, the Le Roy catcher was hit in the groin area with an errant pitch and went down in a heap. While writhing in pain, the LR catcher mentioned, loud enough for the umpires to hear, that he had not been wearing a protective cup in that game.
The verbalization from the LR catcher caused the umpires to pause the game and request the catcher retrieve a cup from the dugout or substitute for a properly equipped player.
The only problem was, no one in Le Roy’s dugout came prepared with a cup.
Because Le Roy had no player that was properly equipped, the umpires suspended the game and await further instruction from Section V. Once Section V officials became aware of the situation, Le Roy was informed that it would be forced to forfeit.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for sure, but the rules are in place for safety reasons,” said Section V Baseball coordinator Jason Bunting. “When protective gear is not being worn and also not available, the team is at fault and unfortunately (Le Roy) had to forfeit.”
At the beginning of each game, Section V umpires are required to ask each head coach if their team is properly equipped to play in that day’s game. When the umps did so at the beginning of Friday’s Class B2 semifinal, both Penn Yan and Le Roy responded that they were indeed properly equipped.
In the NFHS baseball rulebook, it states in rule one, section five, article three:
The catcher shall wear, in addition to a head protector, a mask with a throat protector, body/chest protector that meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture (Effective January 1, 2020), protective cup (male only), and baseball protective shin guards.
Le Roy did not respond to the Daily News’ request for comment.