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While Texas coaches follow the rule of ending any game when a team is up by 10 runs after five innings, or 4 1/2 if the home team is ahead, there is another provision that can apply. Rule 4, Section 2, Article 4 of the National Federation of Baseball Rule Book used in Texas and most states says a game can be ended early with the agreement of both coaches and the umpire.

"We don't put common sense in the rule book, but we hope they use it. Nor do we legislate integrity, but hopefully they use that as well," Hopkins said. "With a game like this, you worry that a kid wouldn't want to continue. He might say, 'We just got smoked. I'm done.' Nobody wants any of that to happen."

with kids whose parents can afford out of season training and a school struggling to field a team in a low income neighborhood.

Once upon a time, Samuell High was pretty good at baseball state champs in 1965, the only such crown for a Dallas school. But these days, the school doesn't have enough players to field a junior varsity or freshman team. Samuell won only about three games a year when it played in Class 4A and this season was forced to join 5A, the biggest classification.

According to a community newspaper in Lake Highlands, the Wildcats had 44 hits 38 singles, five doubles and a triple. They didn't have a single home run.

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But, for a wayward program like Samuell, this might not be a one time thing.

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Darlene Wolf Moore doesn't recall that game being mentioned in the stands as Lake Highlands was routing Samuell. Her son, Ben Wolf, is a senior and the starting left fielder, and she is a staunch supporter of the Wildcats.

It's already led to a change in the mercy rules in the local school district. Administrators hope it will bring attention to an often ignored national rule that offers an easy way to end obvious mismatches.

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Lake Highlands coach Jay Higgins is among the dean of baseball coaches in Texas. His school opened in 1963, and he arrived in 1967, making this his 44th season. Last season, he made his 25th trip to the state playoffs, having gotten as far as regional finals twice. Also last year, he was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.

"It was nice to win, but that's not the way anyone wants to win," she said of the March 8 baseball game. "It was somewhat uncomfortable. We would've liked for it to end sooner."

"We did everything possible," Higgins told The Dallas Morning News. "The national federation, which is the rule book we go by, says you have to play five innings Black Prada Shoes Uk

Hopkins has some other ideas. Different. More constructive.

try to stop the bleeding by ordering his players to go one base at a time.

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"When a popped ball was going to the outfield, we were saying, 'Get it, get it,'" Moore said. "When they would miss a fly ball, we'd groan, 'Ohhhhhhhhh.' We were disappointed. They kept on coming out every inning. It couldn't have been easy. It sure did make you admire their gumption, their stamina, their dedication to their team."

run baseball blowout in Texas prompts changes

Higgins did Philipp Plein Shoes Men

"It's not ever been used to my knowledge," said Mark Cousins, interim athletic director for the University Interscholastic League, the organization that oversees public high schools in Texas, and a former associate director in charge of baseball. "We don't necessarily publicize the rule, but it's been in there for a number of years."

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It didn't. All 17 Samuell players returned for practice the next day.

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As far as she knows, no parents or fans asked Higgins to end it. Instead, the Lake Highlands fans began cheering for the Samuell kids, she said.

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"So? If it's 24 games and 24 clinics, you'd like to think they're getting better, as coaches and players," Hopkins said. "Maybe they'll go tell their friends, 'This guy taught me how to throw a slider,' and a few more kids come out. Eventually, they can build a program."

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"Tell the other coach, 'We'll take the win, you take the loss. Now, you want my help? We've got 30 or 45 minutes left. Lv Shoes Women Sneakers Let's do some drills, let's practice some scenarios,'" he said.

Neither coach returned calls to talk about the game. However, by all accounts, Higgins tried to do the right thing. Once his team was comfortably ahead, Higgins pulled some starters and emptied his bench. He let his hitters swing away, but told them not to take more than one base. They didn't steal.

Some coaches let kids experiment at a new position, but that risks injury. Some coaches let kids bat from the other side of the plate or simply bunting back to the mound and not running out hits, but that's akin to giving up

The game has gone beyond just another blowout between a suburban program stocked Louis Vuitton Shoes Men

Still, first year coach Mike Pena was 1 0 when he arrived for the home game against Lake Highlands. His Spartans had won 18 7 over a smaller division school that hasn't beaten anyone this season.

before the game is considered official. That's what I was worried about if you stop after three innings and somebody comes back and says, 'Well, you guys didn't play an official game.'"

Samuell, meanwhile, didn't have a hit. Two guys reached on errors, so it wasn't a perfect game.

He showed up to the Samuell game with 783 wins. Although his Wildcats arrived at Pleasant Grove Field sitting at 0 5, having dropped three games by a single run and going down 11 1 in another, there wasn't much doubt his team would win.

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"The young coach would come away with respect for the older coach and have a basis for mentoring. The kids would learn how to do a hook slide, or get rid of the hitch in his giddy up and have more control. The umpires would get to teach, which would make them feel a whole lot better than being part of a lopsided game. Fans get to listen and watch and learn, and be part of something that is really good."

Most of all, it reignited the discussion about sportsmanship in high school athletics, raising questions about how to handle being on either end of such a game.

Good thing, because the teams play again Friday night.

The Lake Highlands campus is four miles from Covenant School, which drew headlines two years ago when its girls basketball team beat the girls from Dallas Academy 100 0. The winning coach was fired.

Elliot Hopkins is the baseball rules editor and national interpreter for the National Federation of State High School Associations. He said it was irresponsible that coaches wouldn't be more versed in game ending procedures, but the umpires should've known the rule or done something.

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