By RYAN HERMAN
DENVER –– The weather has cost East Lincoln’s baseball team its fair share of practice time, and even a game earlier this week. But an eligibility oversight has cost the Mustangs a pair of wins.
East Lincoln’s varsity baseball team has forfeited its first two wins of the season due to its use of an academically ineligible player, athletic director Mike Byus confirmed on Thursday.
The Mustangs’ 10-1 win at North Lincoln on March 1 and their 2-0 win at Gastonia Forestview on March 5 –– the Jaguars’ only loss to date –– have become losses due to the issue.
Instead of entering today’s county rivalry and Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference game with Lincolnton at 3-3 overall, East Lincoln is now 1-5, with its only win stemming from Tuesday’s 9-8 conference victory at Bandys.
Byus said the student, who’s name cannot be released due to privacy laws, was removed as soon as the mistake was found.
“It’s disappointing, but we caught it, informed the NCHSAA and the other schools of what happened, and have taken measures to correct the situation,” Byus said.
The forfeits are the fifth for the school this school year. Byus’ football team had to forfeit its three non-conference wins in October after he discovered an ineligible player dressed for the Mustangs’ first three games. Byus said last fall the player in question was allowed to dress “due to a clerical error,” and gave the same explanation Thursday for the situation involving the baseball team.
The forfeited win makes Forestview 5-0, and gives North Lincoln its third win of the year.
East Lincoln and North Lincoln will meet again on March 22.
Notes: The site for today’s conference game between East Lincoln and Lincolnton was moved from Lincolnton to East Lincoln. The junior varsity game will begin at 4 p.m., and the varsity will play at 7.