Baseball record shrinks due to NCAA mandates

by J.C. Blomstedt


The Simpson baseball team went to Florida over spring break, but only played three official games, coming back to Iowa with a 2-3 record. Only three games counted for the Storm because of a new interpretation of an old NCAA rule.

On its trip, the Storm beat Mt. St. Vincent 14-3, but lost 9-5 to Keystone College and 5-4 to Alvernia College. Before leaving for Florida, the team split a pair of games with Graceland.

Head coach John Sirianni said the team was unable to use all of its results because of how the NCAA was enforcing and interpreting an old rule.

According to the NCAA Web site, “A regulation game shall be nine innings unless: extended long because of tied score; shortened because the home team needs none or only part of its half … ; seven-inning games have been scheduled for a double-header.”

Sirianni said the rule has been in the NCAA rule book for years, but hasn’t been enforced in the same nature as it was and will be this year.

“The rule has been around for a long time.” Sirianni said, “In my 20 years this has not been how they interpreted it. It’s created a lot of confusion.”

Sirianni said the new explanation of the rule is frustrating because many Division III schools, like Simpson, go to Florida for the purpose of playing a lot of games, but not all games played in Florida meet those requirements.

This year, not all of the games Simpson played in Florida will count toward the baseball team’s final record.

Sirianni said the NCAA ruling made him change the team’s approach. He used the games as spring training, so a lot his players were able to get experience.

Junior Justin Stoulil said he thought the team played well.

“I’d say most of our pitchers pitched well,” Stoulil said, “Our bats have been struggling so we have some work to do, but we’re in most of the games.”

Sirianni said that in the end, despite the frustration and confusion, the trip was a growing experience for the Storm.

“We developed our team and found out what we need to do and the trip got us motivated.” Sirianni said.