Obscure rule gives GreenJackets win in rain out

Both sides confused after 11-inning series finale

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A frustrated group of Augusta GreenJackets walked off the field late Monday night in Hickory, N.C. thinking their one-run lead in the top of the 11th inning had been washed away by heavy rains.

After the team arrived back in town this morning, an e-mail from Minor League Baseball changed their tune. The GreenJackets were actually awarded a victory.

When the game was called due to rain after 10 and a half innings, both teams thought Augusta's go-ahead run scored in the the top of the 11th would be wiped away because Hickory hadn't had a chance to bat in the bottom half of the inning.

Normal rules call for the game to be finished the next time the two teams meet, but there is no next time for Augusta and Hickory on the first-half schedule.

In such cases, rule 4.12 (c) takes over, which states "Any suspended game not completed prior to the last schedule game between two teams during the championship season shall become a called game. If such game becomes a called game and (1) has progressed far enough to become a regulation game, and one team is ahead, the team that is ahead shall be declared the winner."

The rule was pointed out to the GreenJackets in an e-mail from MLB Advanced Media statistics coordinator Bobby Vangelatos.

"Taking into account the above rule (4.12 C), we have finalized this game as completed early with the final score in favor of Augusta," Vangelatos said in the e-mail. 

The win improved Augusta's record to 15-23, just four games out of first place, and gave the GreenJackets their first series win of the season. Reliever Stephen Harrold got the win, while Kevin Johnson took the loss.

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bdouglas 05/17/11 - 04:37 pm
"...but their is no next time

"...but their is no next time for Augusta..." and "...becomes a called game and has progresses far enough..." could use some attention.

What does it say about a league when all but the first place team in your division have losing records? Such is the case with the southern division of the SAL, of which the Greenjackets are a part. Meanwhile in the northern division all but 2 teams have a winning record.

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