The 2A state baseball playoffs are currently at a standstill.
The South Carolina High School League’s executive committee met Tuesday and unanimously voted to halt the 2A playoffs while the impacts play out of Legion Collegiate forfeiting three games in region play. The issue substantially shakes up 2A’s Region 4 standings — and effectively kicks one team out of the playoffs that was thought to be in at the end of the regular season.
The situation developed last week, league staff recounted in a video call Tuesday morning.
At the end of the Region 4-2A regular season, these were the three teams headed to the playoffs: Legion Collegiate (champion), Andrew Jackson (No. 2 seed) and Buford (No. 3). (Chesterfield, No. 4 overall, didn’t make the playoff cut; only the top three teams made the playoffs from the region because the SCHSL opted for a shorter postseason during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
But last week, Legion Collegiate learned and self-reported that one player on its team — who threw 11 pitches in one game and was available to play in two others — was ineligible.
At the league’s direction, Region 4-2A leaders then met Friday and voted to still send the same three teams to the playoffs. The next day, though, the Class 2A executive committee ruled to count the affected Legion games as forfeits, which altered team records and reconfigured the region standings.
The new standings would have had Andrew Jackson as the No. 1 seed, Legion as the No. 2 seed and Chesterfield as the third seed, knocking Buford out of the playoffs.
Buford then appealed that decision to the SCHSL’s executive committee on Tuesday.
What happened on Tuesday’s call?
That executive committee ultimately voted Tuesday 7-5 to maintain the 2A executive committee decision, acknowledging the three games that Legion’s ineligible player played in as forfeits. Buford will get one more chance to appeal the move at 10 a.m. Wednesday before the league’s appellate panel.
“We’d just like our region vote to be honored because that’s what we were told we could do,” Buford athletic director Eric Funderburk said in the call.
The change in playoff structure affects all four teams in the new set-up. It not only affects Chesterfield (who’s now in) and Buford (who’s now out) — but it also affects Legion Collegiate and Andrew Jackson. In Region 4-2A, the top seed is sent to the Upper State bracket, and the second seed is sent to the Lower State bracket.
And, as was stated on the call, the Lower State has what’s to be understood as an “easier” path to the state championship series. Six of the top seven teams in final Class 2A baseball coaches poll would be in the Upper State bracket.
The committee then voted 11-0 to temporarily halt the 2A playoffs until Buford’s appeal is complete. The temporary halt also gives the SCHSL — which is tasked with scheduling all the playoff games — a chance to reconfigure brackets with a championship ending no later than June 8.