Lions’ win against Waldorf overturned


Jonathan Waldman

The boys varsity baseball team lost in the semifinals to Waldorf after the appeal was not granted. However, they finished the regular season 7-0.

Kaylah Goldrich, Sports Editor

In a shocking turn of events, the varsity baseball team’s win against Washington Waldorf last week in the semifinals was overturned after Waldorf’s coach protested the win. He argued that the Lions used a relief pitcher, junior Sam Diewald, who had not received the full four days of rest that is required by the league rules. CESJDS appealed to the contest but lost on Saturday. 

Diewald was brought into the game because JDS’s starting pitcher, junior Jonah Gross, had exceeded the league’s maximum pitch count of 105 pitches, which the opposing coach pointed out to Lions coach Brian Westerman. 

“Their coach presented to me [the rule] stating no pitcher can exceed 105 pitches, meaning that [Gross] could start the inning, but once he exceeded 105 pitches, you must remove that player from the game pitching wise, and bring in someone else new,” Westerman said. “Me, never hearing this rule before in my life, [as I am in my] first year being a varsity coach and with the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) rules being very unclear, I ended up making a mental mistake and bringing in Diewald.”

JDS thought that they won the game when junior Elliot Bramson completed the Lion’s comeback, in which they were down 5-0 for most of the game, by hitting a walk-off two-run home run. The confusion and mixed emotions surrounding the situation contributed to the players’ disappointment with the result. 

“I think it is pretty stupid what happened, I think we fairly won the game,” sophomore and left fielder/pitcher Andrew Lefkowitz said. “I was not at the game because I had COVID, unfortunately, but I heard all about it…it sucks that our season had to end that way when we actually won the game.” 

In JDS’s appeal to Waldorf’s initial appeal, Athletic Director Becky Silberman argued that the rule they were accused of breaking was not followed or enforced by teams all year. 

“We have proof of [teams breaking this rule] from GameChanger and lots of other coaches,” Silberman said. “…but it did not seem like anybody was following any of those, like we had games where people were pitching back to back days, like other schools.”

Silberman also added that the point of the rule, which limits pitchers’ appearances, is to protect the pitchers and ensure they don’t suffer an injury from overusing their pitching arms. She claimed that Waldorf’s coach only brought up the rule to take Gross out of the game, possibly because he was pitching well. 

“If he knew that [Diewald] was going to be ineligible, he could have told us before that, but he chose to wait until after the game when he saw that they lost,” Silberman said.

Although the Lions’ season ended earlier than expected following their “win,” Westerman had nothing but praise for the team. 

“It was probably one of the best groups of young men and women I have ever had the opportunity to coach,” Westerman said. “It was a very special team to me that meant the world to me. We had a heck of a ride together and I look forward to next year.”