Illegal bat, mistakes sink 12U All-Stars
Not all of the 11 runs scored by the Elizabethton National Aces were due to the illegal bat thrown out of play in sixth inning, but it had a big part in the Marshall County's 12U All-Stars' 11-6 loss at Jim Warren Park in Franklin Friday night in the first round of 12U Cal Ripken State Tournament pool play.
A lot of the early nine-run first inning damage was caused by a shot in their own foot by the MCYBSL squad as they committed five errors, hit two batters, walked two, uncorked two wild pitches, and let one passed ball go by in the fateful frame.
Elizabethton had only four hits in the inning, including a three-run dinger by Hunter Jones and a two-run double by Justin Laughan.
Marshall County starter Knox Barnes was relieved on the hill with two outs in the first inning by Nathan Derryberry, who only gave up two unearned runs the rest of the way for the stars, who tried gallantly to come back.
With one down in the bottom of the second inning, Chase Karaczewski came up with Marshall County's first base hit of the game, and after an Elizabethton miscue sent Karaczewski to third, Jay Lyons knocked him in with a fielder's choice RBI.
Both squads added an unearned run to their scores in the third inning to make it 10-2, entering the fourth inning.
In the top of the fourth, Marshall County handed the Aces another run on zero hits to make it 11-2.
Marshall County did not score in the home half of the inning and Derryberry worked his way out of a bases loaded two-out jam in the top of the fifth.
After Hunter Beckman reached on an error and Kamron Liggett followed with a single in the bottom of the frame, Derryberry drilled a long homerun over the left field fence to make it an 11-5 ballgame.
In the top of the sixth, after several attempts during the game by the Marshall County coaches and a member of the protest committee from Marshall County to check a suspected illegal (outdated and unstamped) bat being used by Elizabethton, the home plate umpire finally checked the bat and threw it out of play because there was no stamp.
In a memo dated Nov. 23, 2011 that was sent out to all Babe Ruth Leagues throughout the country it reads as follows concerning legal bats, "The bat may not exceed 33"in length, and the bat barrel may not exceed 2 ¼" in diameter. Only 2 ¼" barrel non-wood bats marked BPF 1.15 will be allowed. Wood 2 ¼barrel bats are allowed."
Marshall County attempted to protest the ballgame, but it was correctly determined by the tournament director, who was also warned on several occasions that the bat was illegal, that the only repercussion under Babe Ruth rules was that the bat would be taken out of play and if used again, the Elizabethton coach would be ejected from the game.
According to the same memo, the penalty for using an illegal bat is:
"If the illegal bat is discovered prior to a batter completing his "at bat" the bat is simply removed from play and the "at bat" continues. A player who uses an illegal bat or non-conforming barrel dimension and hits a fair ball will be ruled out. No advancement on the bases will be allowed, and any outs during the play shall stand. This is an appeal play. The "at bat" will be considered legal once a pitch is thrown to the next batter. Any bat discovered prior to the game that does not conform to the above rule shall be directed to be removed immediately and not be allowed for use during the game."
The first inning, three-run homerun by Elizabethton was hit with the illegal bat.
The game continued and Elizabethton did not score in the top of the sixth, sending the contest to bottom of the last inning.
Marshall County managed a single run in the frame and the game ended in the five-run loss for head coach Bill Barnes' squad.
Marshall County takes on the Brentwood Bruins today 1:30 p.m., followed by their final pool play game at 6:30 p.m. versus Putnam County.
The tournament is divided into two four-team pools and only the top two teams in each pool will advance to Sunday's championship round.