Baseball – Southern Forfeits OCT Win over Toms River North
The Southern Regional baseball team has forfeited its 5-4 Ocean County Tournament win over Toms River North from this past Saturday on the grounds it used an illegal pitcher, Southern athletic director Chuck Donohue Jr. confirmed Thursday.
Junior Jared Lubanski pitched seven innings in a win over Lacey on Thursday, April 30 and pitched in relief during Saturday's win. NJSIAA rules state that a pitcher who pitches more than five innings in a given game is not eligible to appear as a pitcher in any of the following three days. Lubanaski appeared after only one day of rest.
Southern coach Tom Natoli declined comment, saying the matter is in the hands of the athletic department.
Donohue said the error was brought to his attention Wednesday and after investigating, he reported the violation to the Shore Conference and NJSIAA later in the day.
"It's a mistake, and as soon as it was brought to our attention, we investigated it and reported it," Donohue said. "It’s something that we have to keep track of and we need to be honest about for the integrity of the program and the school."
Southern also used Zach Mason in a regular-season loss to Toms River North on Tuesday after Mason pitched
5 2/3 innings in Saturday's win, according to Toms River North coach Andy Pagano five innings in Saturday's win, which is an example of a legal use of a pitcher by NJSIAA rules. Lubanski started Tuesday's loss to the Mariners and pitched into the fourth inning after his illegal appearance on Saturday.
While the forfeiture awards Toms River North with a victory while taking a win that was worth 43 power points toward NJSIAA Tournnament seeding for Southern had it stood, the decision does not render any changes to the Ocean County Tournament bracket.
Barngat defeated Southern, 8-3, in Sunday's tournament quarterfinals and even though Toms River North is the retroactive winner, the Mariners will not be re-entered into the tournament in any way. The OCT resumes play Saturday with the semifinals, with Barnegat hosting Brick Memorial and Jackson Memorial hosting Toms River South.