Sandalwood baseball team forced to vacate playoff bracket over pitch count

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Sandalwood baseball team will have to vacate its first-round baseball victory over Spruce Creek after one of its pitchers went over a newly established pitch count rule.

The Saints knocked off Spruce Creek 6-5 on Wednesday night, but were reported to the Florida High School Athletic Association by the Hawks as having allowed pitcher Tyler Mills to go over the 105-pitch count. Mills finished the game at 120 pitches. 

The previous 120-pitch count for players between the ages of 19-22 had been in place until the start of the season. 

Sandalwood athletic director Leslie Guzzone said that she was devastated for players and families after learning of the ruling. 

“I fought really hard to justify the rules as we interpreted them, even though we broke a rule, so to speak,” she said. “I fought every angle we could.”

Vacating the bracket means that Sandalwood will not play in Saturday's second-round game against Seminole, and that Seminole earns a bye until the third round on May 22. While it reported the violation, the outcome does not restore Spruce Creek to the playoffs.