Boys baseball forfeits to Walter Johnson on technicality

By David Lewis

The boys baseball team (0–6) forfeited to Walter Johnson (4–2) Friday night because of a unique rule. 

What would have been the Vikes’ first win of the 2021 campaign ended up being another loss; a technicality forced the Vikes to take their sixth consecutive defeat.

Since Whitman had a three game week, players were fatigued and pitching arms were worn out. Part of this is a pitcher’s pitch count, which can’t exceed a certain number of pitches within two calendar days of pitching. This was the case for pitcher Michael Himelstein, who less than 48 hours after pitching in a loss at B-CC took the mound once again in the top of the seventh against Walter Johnson. With Whitman clinging to a two run lead with runners on second and third, Himelstein struck out one batter and retired the last hitter to give Whitman the win. 

Whitman celebrated like any team after their first win until they received the news that Coach Cassidy had to forfeit due to Himelstein exceeding the maximum pitch count within 48 hours of pitching.

Although this game will count as a Whitman loss, the Vikes played a stellar game. All five of Whitman’s runs came in the bottom of the second, which was all they needed; the Vikes never gave up the lead the rest of the way. Senior Matt Ryan started the scoring with a double that scored Niko Alexander and Ethan Clark. Two batters later, with runners on first and second, third baseman Eli Putnam hit his second home run of the season, making it a 5–0 ballgame. WJ slowly tried to come back with one run in the top of the fourth and two runs in the top of the seventh, but the team was unable to catch the Vikes. 

Liam Gardner started on the hill for the Vikes and allowed only one run on two hits while striking out six Wildcats. 

“We played great for six innings. Himelstein came in and got the job done,” pitcher John McGowan said. “It’s a shame we misinterpreted the rules, but we got the confidence boost we desperately needed.” 

The Vikes will go on the road to Wootton Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. as they look to bounce back in the second half of the season.