BVA's playoff season may end before it starts
TribLIVE Sports Videos
During the last two weeks, due to the tightness of the race in Section 4 AAA, Belle Vernon Area baseball coach Dan Palm said every game was a playoff game for his team.
At the time, he didn't realize that he very well may have been a prophet because those games just might have been the Leps' playoff season.
Even though the Leps (11-8) have qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs and hope to get back to the championship game for the second consecutive year, their playoff picture - and season - is in peril.
During Monday's 10-8 loss to Elizabeth Forward, assistant coach Ryan Shetterly, who was running the team while Palm was serving a district-imposed three-game suspension, was ejected for questioning a controversial call in the third inning.
While that may seem to be a minor issue in most cases, for BVA it could signal a death penalty to their season due to PIAA sanctions imposed on the team last year.
During a PIAA playoff game against Punxsutawney June 5 at St. Mary's, a melee between the two teams took place that saw Palm, two assistant coaches and one BVA player get ejected, along with a coach from Punxsutawney.
As a result of that incident, the PIAA brought down sanctions on the BVA program for two years.
One stipulation in those sanctions, according to BVA Principal Greg Zborovancik and Athletic Director Jesse Cramer, is that no member of the team - coach or player - can be ejected or subject to unsportsmanlike mention in an umpire's game report that is filed to the PIAA.
If that sanction is violated, the PIAA said in its ruling, BVA's baseball team will not be permitted to participate in any postseason play.
Zborovancik and Cramer said that BVA conducted its own investigation into Monday's incident at EF and filed a report with the PIAA. They are awaiting a decision on BVA's playoff participation fate shortly.
“(WPIAL Executive Director) Tim O'Malley is aware of the situation and said he needs to know by Thursday if we are in the playoffs because that's when the WPIAL makes it playoff pairings,” Zborovancik said. “We are hoping that the PIAA will allow our players to play in the playoffs.”
PIAA spokesperson Melissa Mertz said Tuesday afternoon that the PIAA had all of the information it needed and, “has been discussing the case as a staff.” She said she had hoped a decision would be handed down by the end of the day.
However, as of Tuesday night, no decision had been announced.
Cramer said that the district has already decided that if BVA is permitted to play in the WPIAL playoffs, Palm will coach the team as his suspension will end by then. However, Shetterly will be suspended the rest of the season.
Both Zborovancik and Cramer said that Shetterly denied saying anything derogatory to the game umpire and claimed that when he came out of the dugout and approached the umpire he was immediately ejected.
“You never know, considering our situation with the PIAA, if an umpire may have a quick hook or not,” said Cramer. “It's an unfortunate thing. But we want to do what is right and that's why we had our own investigation.”
Cramer said either he, Zborovancik, or both will be in the Leps' dugout throughout the playoffs if BVA is permitted to participate in the postseason.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McConnell’s 34 points fuel Chartiers Valley’s come-from-behind victory in Class AAA title game
- Coyotes’ ability to proliferate despite year-round hunting shows need for culling contests, experts say
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- Obama’s Keystone pipeline veto
- Against Wake Forest, Pitt looks to reverse fortunes on road
- Winnik impresses Penguins in first workout
- Pirates notebook: Infield prospect Hanson used to playing elders
- Greensburg pair jailed in convenience store robbery
- Iowa holds off Penn State in overtime
- Free-market thinker Hall to lead Congressional Budget Office