By Phil Anastasia
NJSIAA director Larry White confirmed Wednesday morning that his organization "misapplied" the rules at Tuesday's Non-Public South A title game at Rowan.
St. John Vianney beat four-time state champion Gloucester Catholic by a 3-2 score with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
But St. John Vianney never should have been batting in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Gloucester Catholic, as a No. 2 seed, should have been the home team, White confirmed.
"Our NJSIAA rep misapplied the rule," White said from NJSIAA headquarters. "I don't sleep well when things like this happen. I hate controversy."
White said it was an "unfortunate" mistake but that the result of the game would stand. St. John Vianney will advance to the state title game on Saturday in Toms River.
GC coach Mike Rucci said Wednesday morning that he told the NJSIAA rep at the game that the Rams should be the higher seed over the 8th seeded Lancers.
Rucci said he was told that because the game was at a neutral site, there would be a coin flip for home and away.
But under NJSIAA regulations, the higher seed team should be the home team in non-public sectional finals. The regulations call for a coin flip, but only to determine bench areas.
"I understand his frustration," White said of Rucci. "But nobody deliberately misapplied the rule."
GC finished with a 26-6 record.
"Not going to lie -- it's been a tough day," Rucci said Wednesday.
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