MIDDLETOWN - A protest submitted by Ocean baseball coach Cip Apicelli over an umpire ruling in the third inning of Saturday's Monmouth County Tournament game at Christian Brothers Academy was denied by the tournament committee because of an NJSIAA rules modification implemented in advance of this season.

According to a modification to Rule 4, Section 5, Article 1 of the 2018 NJSIAA Baseball Rules, "protests based upon an official's judgement or misinterpretation (misapplication) of the playing rules will not be honored by the NJSIAA."

According to Apicelli, with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the third inning, his baserunner was doubled off at second base after a catch in the outfield, but the runner at third base successfully tagged up and scored before the ball reached second base. Apicelli argued that his runner at second also successfully tagged up, but protested that the run should count, as stated in the rule book below.

The umpires acknowledged that the run crossed home plate before CBA flipped the ball to second base to tag the base, but maintained the run does not count.

According to the National Federation of High Schools Baseball Rules, part f. of Rule 8-2 establishes that "if a runner leaves a base too soon on a caught fly ball and returns in an attempt to retag, this is considered a time play and not a force out. If the appeal is is the third out, all runs scored by runners in advance of the appealed runner and scored ahead of the legal appeal would count."

Had the play been called according to the rule book, the Ocean run that crossed the plate would have tied the score at 1-1.

The Shore Umpires Association acknowledged to Apicelli that the play was incorrectly ruled.

"I don't know what kind of society we are living in that we can allow this type of thing to go on and the kids suffer while those that make the decisions can sit back and wash their hands of it," Apicelli said in a text. "It does a great disservice to the kids. Unless a change happens and those that make the rules do the right thing this will continue."

Tommy DiTullio singled home a run in the first inning and Mason Wolf also plated a run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth to give CBA two runs before Ocean could officially get on the board.

Cole Kelly cut the CBA lead in half with an RBI single in the top of the sixth but Colts senior Matt Fitzsimmons answered with an RBI single of his own in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead to 3-1.

CBA junior Joe Escandon struck out the final two batters he faced with the tying runs aboard in the seventh.

The second-seeded Colts will host Middletown South on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the tournament quarterfinals.


Box Score

CBA 3, Ocean 1

Ocean (5-8)00000101110
CBA (13-1)100011X390


Nick Callano (L)793322
Nick Hohenstein (W, 4-0)691127
Joe Escandon120002

Top Hitters

Cole Kelly2-4, RBI
Ryan Toomey2-3, R
Jack D’Auria2-4
Jack Harnisch2-3, R
Nick Hohenstein2-3
Tommy DiTullio1-3, RBI
Matt Fitzsimmons1-3, RBI
Eddie Dudek1-2, R
Braedin Hunt1-3, 2B
John Dudek1-3, 2B


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