Tiebreaker ruling leaves team from Wash. state out of semifinals

Cal Ripken World Series

August 18, 2006|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,SUN REPORTER

The field is set for the seventh Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series semifinals, but not without some controversy.

Two games each in the American and International divisions are set to begin at 12:05 p.m. today in Aberdeen and will air live on OLN, with the final game set for 7:35.

Today's survivors play for the International and American championships at 4 p.m. and 6:35 p.m., respectively, tomorrow, and the World Series final will be at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday.

"It seems like we've been getting more people out to see the preliminary games this year," said Cal Ripken, who will be part of the live broadcasts with his brother, Bill Ripken. "A lot of people have been talking about the World Series. There is a buzz in the air that hasn't been there in the past. ...

"It doesn't get any more dramatic than seeing kids pump their fists in the air after hitting a triple in front of a crowd, or break up when they don't succeed. The beauty of watching a competition at this age is the kids wear their emotions on their sleeves."

The players from Kennewick, Wash., showed their emotions yesterday when they were told they had not qualified for the playoffs.

Kennewick thought by winning its final game - 9-7 over Newtown, Conn. - that it would be in, but a clarification of the tiebreaker rules by Babe Ruth League officials advanced Bryant.

The official tiebreaker is not in the Babe Ruth Rules and Regulations handbook, but is in the Officials Handbook that is given to Tournament directors.

There was a three-way tie for first in the American Division after defending champion Hilo (Hawaii), Bryant (Ark.) and Kennewick all finished 3-1 in pool play. Head-to-head competition did not break the tie, so the next tiebreaker was for fewest runs allowed. Hilo gave up the fewest - five runs - to take first place; Bryant gave up seven and Kennewick yielded 16.

Babe Ruth, Inc., the governing body of Ripken Baseball, said the second spot should be determined by head-to-head play, and told Kennewick - a 6-3 winner over Bryant on Wednesday - that a win yesterday put it in.

However, the rules state that the tiebreaker for the spot also should have been determined by fewest runs allowed. That meant Kennewick was out.

"The official rules were applied to a difficult situation when all teams competed very hard," said Babe Ruth commissioner Robert Faherty Jr., who met with officials and communicated with the organization's national headquarters in Trenton, N.J., for nearly two and a half hours yesterday. "

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

Final standings

American Division Hilo, Hawaii 3-1 Kennewick, Wash. 3-1 Bryant, Ark. 3-1 Newtown, Conn. 1-3 St. Mary's County, Md. 0-3 National Division SE Lexington, Ky. 4-0 Satsuma, Ala. 3-1 Bronx, N.Y. 2-2 Harford County, Md. 1-3 Mineral Area, Mo. 0-4 International Division Mexico 4-0 Dominican Republic 3-1 Australia 2-2 Canada 1-3 South Korea 0-4

Yesterday's results

Bryant 3, St. Mary's County 0 Kennewick 9, Newtown 7 Satsuma 11, Hickory Fountain 1 Bronx 3, Mineral Area 1, 9 innings Mexico 1, Australia 0 Dominican Republic 1, Rep. of Korea 0

Today's games

Australia vs. Dominican Republic, 12:05 p..m. Bryant vs. SE Lexington, 2:35 p.m. Canada vs. Mexico, 5:05 p.m. Satsuma vs. Hilo, 7:35 Note -- All games at Cal Sr.'s Yard, live on OLN

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