Controversy is the story of the Top of Iowa Conference baseball matchup played between Forest City and Bishop Garrigan last night. The game served as the championship game, with both teams coming into the scheduled final regular-season matchup with a 10-3 conference record.
After the top of the seventh inning, Forest City questioned whether Golden Bear starter Drew Fogarty had thrown an illegal amount of pitches. Forest City coaches had tracked Fogarty as beginning to pitch to Forest City senior Carter Bruckhoff at 110 pitches – the max a player is allowed to throw. Bishop Garrigan says Fogarty started the at-bat to Bruckhoff with 109 pitches, allowing him to finish the batter. Fogarty threw six pitches to Bruckhoff, retiring the senior and the Indians’ chance to score in the seventh inning, and sent the game to the bottom of the inning with the teams tied at 3-3.
A lengthy conversation ensued between half-innings, but the benches couldn’t agree on how many pitches Fogarty had thrown. The conversation ended, and Bishop Garrigan batted in the bottom of the seventh, and Drew Lappe hit a walk-off single to centerfield.
The conversation between the two head coaching staff continued following the game at home plate, which didn’t end with an agreement – instead, onlookers saw two coaches who seemed displeased with each other walk back to their dugouts.
As is consistent in high school sports, Garrigan – as the home team – their scorer holds the official scorebook and their scorer credited Fogarty with 109 pitches to start the Bruckhoff at-bat. Therefore the game went on to the seventh, and Bishop Garrigan won the TIC West title for the first time in school history. The Golden Bears last won a baseball conference title in 2012 when they won the North Central Conference.
Forest City has now lost three straight chances to win an outright conference title. They did win a share with GHV last season and were denied their fourth under Jerome in 17 seasons.
Fogarty got the win by pitching seven innings, allowing five hits and three runs; he walked one and struck out eight.
Jack Thompson led the Indians with his bat. He cranked a two-run homer in the second inning, giving Forest City their only lead of the game. That was after Bishop Garrigan lead-off hitter Cal Birkey homered on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning. The Indians added one more run and led the game 3-1 after two innings.
Bishop Garrigan tied the game with two runs in the third innings, and the game went scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, when Lappe ended the game.
Birkey, Fogarty, and Hollis Bode ended the game with two hits.
Forest City left eight runners on base and struck out eight times in the game. The Indians committed two errors, while the Bear committed another three.
Forest City is off until they host either Clear Lake or Central Springs in the Class 2A District 5 second-round game on July 5th.