It was an unusual twist and unfortunate ending for Starkville in Saturday's late game of the Dizzy Dean 10-year-old State Tournament against Louisville.
Even though Starkville ultimately lost a 15-14 decision to Louisville in seven innings due to using an ineligible substitute, it was agreed by all involved that Dizzy Dean rules were adequately administered and followed.
Starkville had made a substitution against Louisville during the game, then in the top of the extra (seventh) inning, Starkville used a pinch-runner when the substitute reached base.
When Starkville put the substitute back into the game in the field, that's where the error was made. At that point, the original substitute was burned and made him ineligible.
"We let it slip by that we had used a pinch-runner for a substitute which meant the original starter had to go back into the game and we played two outs (in the seventh) with that sub back in the game," Starkville coach Randy Carlisle said.
Louisville protested the ineligible substitute and Dizzy Dean rules state that the remainder of the game is played out and if the protesting manager loses, the game must go back to the point where the ineligible player entered the game and must be played from that point again.
Starkville was forced to get three more outs in the seventh and a 14-11 lead turned into a 15-14 loss.
That enabled Louisville to enter Sunday's play undefeated, but suffered a 19-0 loss to Columbus National in a winner's bracket game.
Carlisle, who has coached at the high school level, said the difference between a high school and Dizzy Dean rule after Louisville protested the ineligible substitution made a huge impact on the game.
"We got them out with the score 14-11, but because of a Dizzy Dean rule which is different from high school rules, they got to replay that inning basically and they made plays when they had to and won the ballgame," Carlisle said. "Dizzy Dean rules say you correct the mistake right now after the opposing team brings it up and put the original player back in there. If the opposing team loses, then you go back to the point where it would be at the beginning of that half inning and replay that whole inning."
In another situation Sunday morning involving a local team, the Mathiston All-Stars had to forfeit a 6-0 decision to Clinton when it was determined that Mathiston used an ineligible pitcher.
Mathiston's pitcher had thrown 3 1/3 innings on Saturday and came back to start Sunday with less than 48 hours rest.