MTSU baseball team reflects on rare "tie rule"
By Will Carter MTN Sports Reporter April 8, 2021 Baseball games have winners and losers, but not always. The MTSU baseball team experienced that “not always” on Saturday against Rice. The Blue Raiders entered the series finale in hopes of coming away with their third win on the weekend. The game ended after 12 innings with a 9-9 final score.
“In the grand scheme of things, we won the series, but it would have been nice to win three out of four,” MTSU head coach Jim Toman said. “Instead we went 2-1-1. If you can do that every weekend in Conference USA you’re feeling good.”
The Conference USA rule concerning a tie normally applies to Sunday games, but with the holiday weekend the series finale was played on Saturday.
The rule is as follows per the Conference USA rule book:
“On the final game of a series, a set time for completion of a game may be established in order for the visiting team to travel home... In addition, the last game of the series must have a scheduled start time a minimum of four hours plus necessary time to change and travel to the airport in order for the visiting team to arrive one hour before the scheduled flight.”
After splitting the doubleheader on Friday, the Blue Raiders were tied for first with Louisiana Tech in the C-USA West division. The tie on Saturday moved them to second.
“It makes it tough when they’re flying in from Texas, and have a flight to catch,” second baseman JT Mabry said. “That could be huge at the end of the year, that tie. It’s an interesting circumstance.”
Even on a professional level, ties in baseball don’t happen often. The last tie in Major League Baseball was in 2016 with rain forcing the game to end after six innings. It was the first tie recorded since 2007.
The last time Middle Tennessee experienced a tie on the diamond was on April 15, 2018. Their opponent that day was none other than the Rice Owls.