AOL – Jeff Boyer has been a baseball coach at Licking Heights High School in Pataskala, Ohio, for 34 years, and he’s never seen anything like it. Boyer’s Hornets beat Harvest Prep 65-0 on April 5 in a game called in the third inning. Licking Heights scored 16 runs in the first, 18 in the second and 31 in the third. The numbers are predictably off the charts. Licking Heights had 48 hits, but the team also drew 13 walks and had 11 hit batters against a Harvest Prep team composed of mostly freshmen and sophomores. “It’s the most awkward I’ve ever felt in 34 years of coaching,” Boyer said. “I didn’t know what to feel. I wasn’t happy. I felt bad for their kids and didn’t know what to tell our kids.” Boyer told Sporting News the game took more than three hours and finally was called because of darkness. The Ohio High School Athletic Association calls for a 10-run mercy rule after five innings. Boyer wishes the game would’ve been called much sooner. “We didn’t run on passed balls; we didn’t take extra bases or any of those kinds of things,” Boyer said. “I even asked the umpire, ‘What do you want us to do?’ “I asked if he wanted us to bunt and step on the plate, and he said he didn’t want it to be a travesty of a game. And I’m thinking, ‘We’re already there.’ “ The teams play again April 22, and Boyer said that issue will be addressed. Fortunately, there does not appear to be any ill will between the schools. “I’m going to talk to the coach before the game,” he said. “They’ve been run ruled in every game. We just happened to be the first to do it. I had no idea it was going to get that high, and we’ll make sure it doesn’t get that high again.”
You know who deserves all the credit in the world it this awkward situation? The umpire. Not east to sit there and watch some freshman and sophomores get whooped 65 rip in 3 innings. Not even RBI Baseball on Nintendo allows that. And yes, a blowout of that magnitude is “travesty of a game.” But at least it was still the real game. The only thing more awkward than toeing the rubber and walking 13 and hitting 11 and allowing 31 runs in an inning is to have some kid bunt and step on home plate on purpose. A mercy rule is one thing – but my competition pitying me by doing that would be infinitely worse. They were a bunch of underclassmen who were overmatched in a blowout of epic proportions. They’re not some handicapped kids that need your mercy.