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LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The gods that govern high school varsity baseball called it a day.
On Wednesday, April 18, the game between the home team Wildcats of Livingston Manor and the Sullivan West Bulldogs drew to a close after six innings once the visitors racked up a 14-2 lead.
This year, the governing bodies that rule high school baseball in the state decided to adopt a “10 Run Rule,” which calls for a scheduled seven-inning contest to draw to a close if one of the two teams amasses a lead of 10 or more runs over the other; according to theory, that will avoid a dominant team from running up an embarrassingly high score.
The recently adopted scholastic baseball rule states that games will be ended after five innings (or four-and-a-half if the home team is ahead), with the presumption that it will also help save pitchers’ arms, a move that follows lower pitch counts mandated by a state rule of last year.
This 2018 addition to the rules of high school baseball is in some quarters a bit controversial, in that traditionalists view pulling the plug on blowouts as also eliminating the possibility of high octane dramatic come-from-behind rallies to save the day.
The rule was adopted by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), the Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) and the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA).
The “10 Run Rule” is also referred to as the mercy rule, the slaughter rule, or the skunk rule.
Okay, now back to the game.
It was played in weather that a lot of folks would think perfect for football as the fans bundled up in blankets, scarves and down jackets.
But the boys of summer, in this case chilly early spring, soldiered on, seeming not to mind the cold, windy afternoon. At least not too much.
Manor (1-1) is led by senior captain Josh Evans and went through a series of three pitchers on Wednesday: Evans, Joe Gleason and Vin Marchesa.
“Our bats were very slow coming out of the gun… we didn’t make great plays in the field,” said Evans.
Manor’s Garrett Shaver posted a solo hit and one RBI.
“We just couldn’t get on top of [Bulldogs’ pitcher Bryce] Reimer today,” said Wildcats coach Jeff Loeffler.
The Bulldogs (2-1) stacked the deck three times in the sixth frame on the way to sending eight runners across the plate in what proved to be the final inning.
James DeAveiro posted 3 hits and 4 RBI’s, Collin Hauschild had 3 hits plus 3 runs, while Luke Ellison racked up 2 hits and crossed the plate twice for Sullivan West.
“I was very happy with Reimer’s performance today, he was at the top of his game… we had good quality at bats against a very fine team… we ran the bases well, and were able to get those runners home,” said Bulldogs top dog Bill Kirk.
Sullivan West is captained by four seniors: Collin Hauschild, Alex Schwalb, Brandon “Booboo” Dailey and Shane Hubert.
Reimer’s take on the new season and the win?
“I think we’ll do good things this year… it’s a young team, but we have a senior staff leading them… I got the outs for the team today.”
For more photos, visit www.riverreporter.com.