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Indiana baseball lost the Lexington Regional final to Kentucky on Monday afternoon. As a result, the Hoosiers had their season come to an end, while the Wildcats advanced to a Super Regional next weekend.
Perhaps Indiana’s living arrangements factored into its struggles down the stretch. Perhaps it would have won the Regional in the first game of the two-game Final on Sunday if starting second baseman Tyler Cerny had played.
The Hoosiers had to play without him in their first game against the Wildcats after an ejection and subsequent suspension. It was unfortunate, and the rule that cost him the outing is a severe over-correction to a problem that didn’t exist.
As a result of the loss Sunday, Indiana had to play Kentucky again Monday. The home team won 4-2.
The go-ahead run was scored in the sixth inning after catcher Devin Burkes reached on a leadoff double. He proceeded to throw his helmet and give a little shimmy.
Hunter Gilliam then knocked in run and hit the same dance.
Hoosiers fans were SEETHING.
I would throw a pitch at that guys face. And he’d probably tea bag it.— Craig Holloway (@craigmack34) June 5, 2023
Anybody else does this and it’s an ejection lol— WVU Sports = Pain (@WVUPlzWin) June 5, 2023
Anyone else would have been ejected. I’d have liked to see a stray ball hit him.— OutdoorNurse (@outdoornurse46) June 5, 2023
Some of the fans pointed to Cerny’s suspension and questioned why Burkes and Gilliam were not ejected and suspended.
Will he be suspended like Indiana’s guy for excessive celebration?— Merritt Duncan (@mdunc1982) June 6, 2023
To some extent, their concerns were fair. Cerny’s ejection and suspension was ludicrous.
But why did Kentucky baseball not get in trouble?!
Had Cerny come out of the dugout and done a dance similar to Gilliam, he would not have been suspended. Gilliam’s dance is not against the rules. Players dance or shimmy it out on second base in almost every instance— especially after hitting an RBI double to take the lead in a Regional!
The NCAA does not allow players to bring props out of the dugout. Cerny brought a prop out of the dugout.
Should the rule exist? No. Let the boys play!
Did Cerny break the rules? Yes.
Thus, Cerny was punished per the rule book.
Did Gilliam break the rules? No.
Thus, Gilliam was not punished.