07/03/06 — Legion baseball Ñ Rainouts turn into losses as playoffs begin

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Legion baseball Ñ Rainouts turn into losses as playoffs begin

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 3, 2006 2:18 PM

WILSON -- Teams not completing their regular-season schedule in Area I East Division play, despite grievances filed with commissioner Joe Tobert, received losses Sunday afternoon.

Seven of the eight athletic officers of playoff-qualifying teams met, and along with Tobert, agreed to that conclusion in a closed-door session. Tobert had organized the meeting to hear concerns about canceled games, determine tie-breaking scenarios and to adjust the final regular-season standings for postseason play.

"We agreed that everyone would take a loss for whatever games they didn't complete," said Kinston athletic officer Terry Boyles. "We figured that was the most fair and equitable way for everybody."

In a preseason meeting, Tobert stressed the importance of finishing the schedule and cautioned coaches not to reschedule canceled games toward the end of the season. Everyone in attendance agreed that teams which failed to play their entire division schedule would not be eligible for postseason competition.

The ruling raised concerns when teams began rescheduling games due to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, year-end exams and graduation. Some teams played while others postponed contests.

Sunday's decision affected six teams and slightly altered the final standings. Ties were broken for third and fifth place.

Kinston concluded weekend play in sole possession of third place at 12-6. But Post 43 received two losses for not completing its schedule and ended tied with Edenton for third. Edenton claimed the tiebreaker and climbed to No. 3.

Wayne County, the 2002 and 2004 Area I East champion, was dealt one loss and shared sixth place with New Bern at 10-10. However, Post 11 seized the No. 6 seed by virtue of its doubleheader sweep of New Bern just four days ago.

New Bern and Edenton were the only playoff teams to play all 20 division games. Ahoskie, which didn't qualify for the postseason, also completed its schedule.

First-round play, a best-of-three series, begins Tuesday at the higher-seeded team. Regular-season champion Wilson (16-4) entertains eighth-seeded Nash County (9-11). In the same bracket, third-seeded Edenton (12-8) plays host to sixth-seeded Wayne County (12-10).

In the bottom half of the draw, regular-season runner-up Pitt County 160 opens tournament play against seventh-seeded New Bern. Defending Area I and North Carolina champion Pitt County 39 is seeded fifth and travels to Kinston.

Snow Hill will miss postseason play for the first time in 34 years.

Second-round play involves "cross-bracketing." Instead of the normal 1-8/4-5 matchup, the 1-8 winner opposes the 2-7 winner. The 3-6 winner faces the 4-5 winner.

"The bracket was passed out in February and no one objected," said first-year Post 11 athletic officer Sam Sasser. "However, it will be changed for next year."

Sasser said that Tuesday's game has been changed to 5 p.m. due to the July 4th holiday. Post 11 and Edenton split their regular-season series with each team winning on its home field.

"I'll take my chances with that (pairing)," said fourth-year Wayne County coach Brad Reaves, whose team has won six of its last seven games. "We'll be OK."