Posted: 9:47 am Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Baseball: FHSAA exploring mercy rule options after 45-0 rout, second-largest in Florida history 

By Matt Porter

At first glance, Berean Christian’s 45-0 loss to Summit Christian Monday afternoon was one of the most lopsided high school baseball games in a long time.

According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Buddy Collings, the dean of preps reporters in the Sunshine State, the game is the close to the largest rout in Florida baseball history.

The 45 runs put up by Summit Christian is second only to Sarasota Christian’s 53-0 win over Everglades City in 2004. Third on the list is Orlando-Pine Castle Christian’s 41-0 win over West Oaks Academy in 2006.

The state record for most runs scored in an inning by a team is held by Martin County, which scored 29 in the second inning of a 39-1 win over Olympic Heights in 2006. No box score was provided to the Post for Monday’s game.

Summit Christian and Berean Christian must play each other because they are in the same district, 12-1A.

Monday night, first-year Berean Christian athletic director Keith Huisman said he would consider playing an independent schedule for baseball next season.

Speaking on ESPN 760 Wednesday, FHSAA Director of Athletics Justin Harrison said the FHSAA’s mercy rule for baseball, which stops a game after five innings if the visiting team is ahead by 10 runs (4 1/2 innings if the home team is up by that much), supersedes Rule 4, Section 2, Article 4 of the National Federation of High Schools rule book.

That rule states a game can be ended early with the agreement of both coaches and the umpire – unless a state has its own mercy rule in place, as does Florida.

According to Harrison, softball has proposed to the FHSAA a 15-run, three-inning mercy rule. It will be voted on next week at the FHSAA Board of Directors meeting. He said he expected that to be adopted for softball, and it would likely be discussed for baseball.

Click here to read more about possible changes to the FHSAA’s mercy rule for baseball and softball.

Have mercy

In Florida high school baseball and softball, the game ends if a team is ahead by 10 runs or more after 5 innings (4 1/2 for the home team). A proposed softball rule change would end a game if a team is ahead by 15 runs after three innings (2 1/2 for the home team). Mercy rules for other Florida high school sports:

Football: Optional running clock can if a team is ahead by 35 points or more at halftime, mandatory after three quarters.
Basketball: After halftime, mandatory running clock once a team takes a 35-point lead.
Soccer: Game ends if a team is ahead by eight goals at halftime or any point in the second half.
Flag football: Game ends if a team is ahead by 19 points with two minutes to go in the second half.
Water polo: After third period or during fourth, mandatory running clock if a team has a 10-goal lead.
Boys lacrosse: Mandatory running clock once a team takes a 12-goal lead. If differential becomes less than 12, normal play resumes.
Girls lacrosse: Same rule as boys, with 10-goal differential.

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