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United Red Storm Baseball Season Ends in a Shroud of Controversy

Another successful United Red Storm baseball season came to an end on Wednesday night at the Jacksonville Routt class 1A sectional. The Red Storm team lost 5-3 in five “official” innings to the co-op of the Triopia/Meredosia-Chambersburg/Virginia Trojans in the sectional semifinals in Jacksonville. The game ended in a shroud of controversy.

The Trojans led by the eventual final score of 5-3 after five complete innings were played. The Red Storm battled back to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the 6th. Two pitches into the bottom of the 6th, the game was stopped by the umpiring crew due to a visible lightning strike. During the mandated 30 minute lightning delay, a hard rain started falling, eventually prompting the game to be stopped. IHSA rules state that a game is official after five innings and if any inning after five has not been completed, the final score is whatever the score was at the end of the previous full inning, which was 5-3 in favor of the Trojans.

An heart-breaking way to lose for the Red Storm, who had battled back to tie the game and had all the momentum at the time of the stoppage. The IHSA rules are in place for that type of situation, but they vary from sport to sport. An “official” game is different for baseball and softball than it is for basketball and football, for instance. Red Storm Head Coach Ryan Molek says he’s very disappointed in the outcome of their game, and with little consolation for his own ball club, maybe the attention this situation has garnered can make a change for future rules changes.

United Red Storm head coach Ryan Molek

The Red Storm has won, or shared, the Lincoln Trail Conference title the past two seasons and have captured two straight regional championships….their first in program history. Molek says despite the controversial outcome of their game in Jacksonville, he’s proud of his ballclub.

United Red Storm head coach Ryan Molek

For the entire interview with Molek, go to the SPORTS PODCAST section.

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