Yucaipa baseball playoff win appealed, upheld in California playoffs

Photo: Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG

Yucaipa baseball playoff win appealed, upheld in California playoffs


Yucaipa baseball playoff win appealed, upheld in California playoffs


Yucaipa baseball (Calif.) defeated West Ranch (Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) in the second round of the playoffs Tuesday, but they didn’t officially advance until Wednesday morning.

Prior to the 1-0 loss, West Ranch filed an appeal, claiming Yucaipa had an illegal batting practice before the game, The Sun reporter Mason Nesbitt tweeted.

The appeal was denied Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times. Yucaipa, which started the season in the Super 25 and has since been either in or on the periphery of the Pacific Region rankings, will advance to the next round.

Teams in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section are not allowed to take batting practice on the day of playoff games “prior to the commencement of the contest,” according to the LA Times.

The outlet stipulates the rules in its article. The pertinent ones to note:

  • Batting practice is “construed as ANY type of pitching motion with ANY type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines and overhand throwing).”
  • “The only acceptable batting warmup will be side soft toss, batting tee work or pepper.”

West Ranch submitted a video that showed a Yucaipa player tossing the ball from inside the right field foul line with the batter standing on the other side of the line, according to The Sun. West Ranch felt this broke the rules of a diagram the CIF-SS sent out that directs the thrower to be directly to the side of the hitter.

“For side soft toss, the guidelines are as follows: the tosser should be on a knee, to the side of the batter and the ball should be lifted, not pitched, to the batter,” the rulebook states, according to the LA Times.

West Ranch coach Casey Burrill told The Sun the CIF-SS diagrams altered the way his team warmed up.

“The rule was so clear this year that we made changes on how we do it and we made changes in practice to make sure we were doing it right,” Burrill said.

Yucaipa head coach Ralph Grajeda told the LA Times on Tuesday he thought his team was “within the rule.”

“We were doing normal soft toss off to the side. We had four rows going. Nobody was throwing overhand,” he said.

It’s not unusual for teams to protest based on these warm-up rules.

Sondheimer tweeted that AB Miller (Fontana, Calif.) baseball and Royal (Simi Valley, Calif.) softball also appealed for warm-up violations, both of which were denied.

Summit softball was forced to forfeit after holding illegal batting practice earlier this postseason, according to the Orange County Breeze.

Yucaipa, the winner of last year’s Div. II championship, is onto the third round of the Div. 1 playoffs. The Thunderbirds will face Cypress (Calif.), ranked No. 11 in the Super 25, for a chance at the Final Four.


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