The Hays High baseball team won by forfeit against Great Bend after the Panthers were ruled to have used an illegal pitcher during Tuesday's game at Hays High.
The game was tied at 3-3 after five innings but the Panthers were forced to forfeit to the Indians after Great Bend used a pitcher that should not have been available due to the Kansas State High School Activities Association pitch-count rule.
Great Bend's Joey Soupiset came on to pitch in relief in the fourth inning and walked a batter. According to The Great Bend Tribune, Soupiset threw 90 pitches for the Panthers on Friday against Liberal. KSHSAA rules require pitchers to receive four days rest after throwing more than 75 pitches.
The game was called after five innings and Great Bend was forced to forfeit 7-0 to the Indians. A forfeit is required after a violation of the KSHSAA pitch count rule.
"It's unfortunate, but they put that rule in for a reason and they need to abide by it; that's why we have to put pitch counts in after every ball game," Hays High coach Frank Leo said. "It's just unfortunate."
Soupiset will be declared ineligible until he is reinstated by the KSHSAA. Great Bend coach Randy Beck will be suspended until he is reinstated by the KSHSAA.
The Indians improved to 9-0 overall and 3-0 in Western Athletic Conference play while Great Bend fell to 4-5 overall and 1-2 in WAC play.
Great Bend grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI groundout from Chance Perry before Hays answered in the third on Cody Peterson's solo home run.
The Panthers regained the lead in the fourth on an Indians' throwing error and an RBI single from Soupiset pushed the lead to 3-1.
Justice Dotts drove in a run for Hays in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly. The Indians tied it up in the fifth when Palmer Hutchison scored on a Panthers' throwing error.
Indians' starting pitcher Trey Riggs gave up three runs (two earned) and three hits while striking out nine in five innings.
Freshman Dylan Dreiling had two hits for the Indians.
"I thought we were a little flat early, but we did barrel some balls right at them," Leo said. "We made a nice comeback to tie it up. They got some ground balls at the right time that found some holes. We made an error that kind of cost us, and that's uncharacteristic for us this year. But it was good to see our guys come back and tie it up and I thought we were in a good position to try and win it."
Hays High will play host to Dodge City for a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Friday.