This weekend the championship series in Belgium started. After the first two games, the series between the Borgerhout Squirrels and the Brasschaat Braves is tied at one. Nothing strange one would say. No. But still, there was something remarkable about yesterday’s game.
On Saturday, the Borgerhout Squirrels beat the Brasschaat Braves 6-2. But Sunday’s game was much more exciting. After nine innings the game was tied at ten. The game went on until the fourteenth inning when it was called due to darkness. Baseball is a small sport in Belgium, so the ballparks do not have light towers.
So with a tied game called after fourteen innings, one would think the game would continue the next weekend. Not so. After the game, Brasschaat Braves protested the use of a non-eligible player by the Borgerout Squirrels. This player, usually part of their U23 team, wasn’t allowed to play because of a certain rule.
This rule prevents a player to participate in the Belgium Championship Series if he did not have at least one at-bat in each of five different games in the highest Belgian league before July 31st. This rule has been created to prevent clubs from importing players from abroad as a last minute reinforcement for the championship series.
Because of the violation of this rule, the Brasschaat Braves protested, so the technical committee had to take a look at it. The committee sustained the protest and the Borgerhout Squirrels lost the game 9-0 according to the rulebook.
The sad thing is that the bench of the Borgerhout Squirrels was almost emptied and this non-eligible player was all there was left. So the manager of the Squirrels did not have another option than bringing him in.
Sure the rulebook is a part of the game, but it is not a common to win a game like this.
Tied at one, the championship series will continue next weekend with game three on Saturday at the ballpark of the Borgerhout Squirrels and game four on Sunday at the ballpark of the Brasschaat Braves.