Alcorn, Jackson State await official word on tie for second

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

LORMAN &045; Alcorn State will wait on an official ruling from the Southwestern Athletic Conference on that weekend series with Jackson State and how the suspended game will figure into the standings.

Alcorn head coach Willie &uot;Rat&uot; McGowan said he filed a report with ASU athletic director Robert Raines on the incident when a fan got into an altercation with Alcorn shortstop Kevin Gaston while Gaston was in the on-deck circle in Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader that caused for the game to be suspended in the ninth inning with the score tied 8-8.

Alcorn went on to win Saturday’s game to end the regular season to leave both teams locked at 14-9-1 in the standings at the No. 2 spot and 3-2-1 in head-to-head competition. The conference tournament is scheduled for May 20-22 in Birmingham, Ala.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;I haven’t heard anything yet,&uot; McGowan said Monday afternoon. &uot;I just wrote up a little report and gave it to my AD, and he will handle that. I’m not worried about a ball game &045; as long as the kids are safe, I’m safe and the university doesn’t get that bad publicity. As far as playing that game, that’s the last thing on my mind. But I will play it if it comes down to that.&uot;

Both McGowan and JSU head coach Mark Salter agreed to suspend the game Friday.

Initial plans were to finish the game prior to the start of Saturday’s game at Alcorn, but those never reached fruition. Salter said after Saturday’s loss his Tigers would go in as the No. 2 seed.

&uot;I haven’t talked to anyone from the conference office yet on how it’s going to be played out,&uot; ASU athletic director Robert Raines said. &uot;We’ll accept whatever decision they make on that.&uot;

According to assistant commissioner Wallace Dooley, the game may be left as a tie with both teams finishing tied in the standings. Standings on the conference’s Web site indicate Jackson is a half-game up on Alcorn as 14-8-1, but the site is missing two games from the Jackson State-Alabama State series and incorrectly counts a JSU win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff as a conference game.

According to Alcorn SID Tyrone Broxton, no conference games were rained out this season.

&uot;It ended in a tie game,&uot; Dooley said. &uot;The umpires called it off. We do have ties in baseball. They felt continuing the game was not in the best interest of both teams.

&uot;It’s a possibility with Jackson State a game has not been reported. I’m missing one game from Alabama State and Jackson State. I have requested the game be resent, but I haven’t received anything.&uot;

If the game remains a tie and both teams are tied in the standings, Dooley said the next tie-breaker will be runs scored in head-to-head competition. That would give Jackson the edge at 69-43 thanks in part to Friday’s 14-0 win in Game 1 over the Braves.

The conference could also rule the game be replayed in its entirety.

Conference officials have yet to release pairings for the tournament.

&uot;We’ll turn it over to the conference,&uot; McGowan said. &uot;That heckling stuff is a no-no. Spectators shouldn’t be allowed to get that close to ball players while a game is going on. Whatever the conference says, we’ll have to do it.

&uot;To me, it’s not a big thing whether it’s first, second or third. Both of us are going to the tournament. When you go to the tournament, the season starts all over again. You’ll have to play good teams anyway.&uot;

Gaston played in Saturday’s game without incident at Alcorn. McGowan said the junior infielder was the focus of ridicule for almost the entire day until the spectator stuck his head into the playing field while Gaston was waiting his turn at bat.

The spectator was not injured, and McGowan requested the game be suspended.

&uot;I thought I made the best decision with that,&uot; McGowan said. &uot;When you look at it, you want to do what’s right for the young men. You’ve got to set an example for them.

&uot;People have been talking about that, and I don’t know what the conference is going to do. (Gaston) was telling me it was accidental. He said he accidentally hit the net where the guy was at. I didn’t see it, Salter didn’t see it and the officials didn’t see it. Anything else would be hearsay. It wasn’t like he hurt him or anything.&uot;