In what has to be one of the cruelest of game-ending twists, Bishop Heelan is headed to the state baseball tournament and rival, Le Mars is not.
When the IAHSAA state baseball tournament begins Bishop Heelan will be the #1 seeded team in the Class 3A field. Good news for Crusaders fans. But the way Bishop Heelan made state, has left a bad taste in the mouths of Le Mars' players, coaches and fans.
In the substate finals Wednesday night, Heelan battled LeMars for 11 innings, before bowing out 8-5. Little did players and fans from both schools know, that the totals on the scoreboard would later be erased.
One hour after the game, it was discovered that Le Mars used an ineligible player. Parker Rolfes entered the game in the 8th inning, but he did so, after pitching a full 9 innings on Monday. According to state rules, a pitcher must rest two full days after pitching a full game, before pitching again.
Heelan now heads to state, top ranked and top seeded, in Class 3A. The Crusaders are 34-4 in the season. Meanwhile, Le Mars, who's never been to state, is heartbroken.
Heelan opens the state tournament next Tuesday facing Williamsburg at 2 PM.