THOMASTON, Ga. — The GHSA Board of Trustees accepted Johns Creek baseball’s final appeal of a ruling that overturned their semifinals win, and a game three will be played.
The Board met on Monday morning to hear Johns Creek’s final appeal against GHSA Executive Director Gary Phillips’ ruling that the umpires made a judgment call when a base runner did not touch third base while the winning run was walked in. Because Phillips maintains the ruling is a judgment call, it is not reviewable and cannot be appealed. Johns Creek appealed Phillips’ decision as executive director.
A majority vote by the board (5-2) was needed to overturn Phillips’ decision and appeal the umpires’ ruling, which had eliminated Johns Creek from the playoffs. Johns Creek received what they were asking for, which is a decisive game three against Lee County. That game will now be played Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Lee County.
GHSA confirmed to 11Alive that the umpire crew was removed for any further assignments in the postseason. However, they would not comment on the reason because of their “independent status.”
Johns Creek and Lee County were tied in the bottom of the seventh in game two of the series on Wednesday. Lee County walked a batter with the bases loaded, giving Johns Creek a 4-3 victory. However, Lee County head coach Brandon Brock came out and talked to the umpires. He argued the runner coming from second base did not touch third base.
The second and third base umpires agreed, and they put in place the corresponding penalty. That made the runner that did not touch the bag out and the winning run not count. Therefore, the game continued. Lee County ended up winning the game 5-3 in extra innings.