Player of the game? Trick question.
The Florida Gators’ club baseball team is locked in a proverbial fist fight with the Florida State Seminoles this season. Although they have the better overall record (13-3, in contrast with 12-5), their division record doesn’t carry quite the same dominant ratio at 9-3. However, based on recent events, the fault for this doesn’t necessarily rest completely on the team. After defeating the Miami Hurricanes in the teams’ first two meetings of the important divisional series, 5-1 and 12-1 respectively, they were actually forced to forfeit the final game due to the umpires failing to show up for the game. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. The rule is existence states that the visiting team, should the game umpires fail to show up for 15 minutes following the scheduled start-time, may accept an automatic forfeit.
“Our umpire showed at 11:35-11:40 (11:00 was the scheduled game-time). He saw Miami in the parking lot and they still did not want to play,” said Division I third baseman, Andrew Flint. “So, unfortunately we had to take the forfeit and that hurts our conference record.”
Of course, the decision was easy for the Hurricanes. For a team that had managed just two runs to Florida’s 17 in two games, the gift-wrapped result likely wasn’t given a second thought.
So, what will happen?
For Miami, the “win” put them at 8-9 overall, with a 2-7 divisional record. For Florida, the unfortunate result of the game could potentially have an even more unfortunate impact. With the game being officially counted as a divisional loss, Florida’s 9-3 divisional mark sits exactly one full game behind Florida State’s 10-2 record in the South Atlantic. And, with the season quickly coming to a close, it’s looking more and more likely that the game could affect who wins the division. Luckily, should FSU win the division, Florida wouldn’t necessarily be out of the tournament.
“If we do wind up in second place because of that, the committee that votes in the wild card spot will take our situation into consideration,” said Flint.
Despite the circumstances, it’s clear that the Gators aren’t lying down. They remain the team to beat in the South Atlantic division, and they proved that by pounding division bottom-dweller FIU with three straight mercy-rule decisions.