Unbeknownst to everyone, more than a conference championship, playoff seeding and bragging rights were at stake when Whiteville traveled to South Columbus for junior varsity and varsity, softball and baseball games, April 28. The outcome of the 2016-17 Columbus Cup competition most likely would be determined by the results.
Whiteville edged South Columbus, 257 to 251, to earn its fourth consecutive Columbus Cup championship. The Wolfpack trailed the Stallions heading into play April
South Columbus held a six-point lead. A walk-off win in JV Baseball increased the margin to eight points. However, Whiteville wins in JV Softball, Varsity Softball and Baseball pulled the Wolfpack into a tie at the end of the evening. A couple of different results could have given South an insurmountable lead.
The Wolfpack took a three-point Cup lead with a victory over West Columbus in a make up Varsity Softball game. South Columbus and Whiteville both earned three points with Girls Soccer wins over East Columbus and West Columbus respectively May 2. Whiteville clinched the Cup with a Girls Soccer victory over South Columbus May 3.
East Columbus finished third overall in the Columbus Cup standings. Whiteville finished first in both the varsity girls and boys divisions, followed by South Columbus. East Columbus topped the junior varsity boys followed by West Columbus. South Columbus was tops in the JV girls category followed by East Columbus. Ten points separated first from fourth in both junior varsity categories.
The enforcement of the “Pitch count” rule or more accurately, the accountability factor in the pitch count stat keeping, was a major concern. Apparently not for everyone. One local school has yet to put a pitch count number in MaxPreps, while several others are hit and miss.
The previous sentence was written March 30. Since that time, the aforementioned school has entered pitch count numbers for every game except its most recent.
There is also a problem with the pitch counts for JV teams. It seems like the attitude is “well, it’s just JV.” I didn’t realize that the value placed on a player’s well-being was determined by the level that he competes.
I definitely agree with South Columbus coach Bradley Strickland that the 11am deadline the next morning can be difficult depending on your class schedule. It also is patently unfair to not allow coaches an opportunity after games to simply put it behind them for some family time. However, entering the information by 3 pm the next day would be more realistic.
Erwin High School is the first school to forfeit a game due to using an ineligible pitcher due to pitch count. Erwin self-reported the violation from a game that took place against Enka, March 28.
I invite you to take a look at the pitch count numbers on this webpage and see what they reveal.
It remains to be seen whether I can keep up with this, but thought it was worth a try. If the schools report as they should, it should be fairly easy as long as I do it on a daily basis. Of course, this assumes the schedules on MaxPreps are correct, complete and updated when postponements take place.
The pitch-count numbers reflect what has been entered into Max Preps as of April 25 at 1:00 pm.
Just click the TRC pitch count tab above and to the left. The numbers entered are the only numbers available from MaxPreps. I have contacted the NCHSAA to see if any fines have been levied due to non-compliance, but have not yet received a reply.
From the conversations I have had, fans are more interested in this information than a large majority of the coaches. Coaches are busy enough coaching their own teams.