Bishop Heelan and LeMars played a thrilling substate baseball game Wednesday night, but everyone is talking about what happened after the game.
The Bulldogs won 8-5 in 11 innings but Le Mars had used an illegal pitcher who had exceeded his innings limit. Le Mars had to forfeit and it's the Crusaders who are going to state.
Bulldog senior pitcher Parker Rolfes pitched five innings of relief against Heelan. He also pitched the first nine innings of Monday's 4-3, eleven inning win over Sgt. Bluff-Luton.
Iowa High School Athletic Association rules say that if a pitcher throws nine innings in one day, he has to sit out two calendar days. Rolfes was not supposed to pitch again until Thursday.
Officially, the forfeit gives Heelan a 7-0 win and a trip to state and denies Le Mars their first-ever trip.
"Obviously we're happy to be able to continue to play," said Bishop Heelan head coach Andy Osborne. "The result wasn't what we wanted. I don't know, it's still kind of disbelief at this point. You had two great baseball teams playing last night, two teams that are worth of continuing their season. You just feel terrible about the circumstances. Nobody won last night. That's the worst part. It feels like both teams lost."
"The mistake is solely mine and our kids are paying the ultimate price for it," said Le Mars head coach Trent Eckstaine. "I thought I had innings left with Parker and I didn't. I'm broken hearted over the whole thing."
Heelan gets the top seed in the Class 3A state tournament and will face unranked Williamsburg on Tuesday at 2:00 PM in Des Moines.
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