You see that one baseball team beat another 82-0 — no, that’s not a typo, eighty-two runs — and you know there’s a story there. How could this have possibly happened, and who’s getting fired?
The answers are, in order: because of a case of mistaken identity, and nobody … because everyone involved feels terrible.
Here’s the story, per local news sources. Old Rochester High School of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts traveled to nearby Lawrence last weekend to play Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in an out-of-conference baseball game. Old Rochester is a regional high school with a thriving athletics program. Notre Dame Cristo Rey is a boys’ school with a total enrollment of 100. You can already see the problem forming here.
Old Rochester head coach Steve Carvalho spoke with his counterpart before the game and realized a terrible mistake had been made: Carvalho had scheduled the game against the wrong Notre Dame Cristo Rey. But by then, it was too late to change anything … and the game began.
Old Rochester scored 12 runs in the first inning, and the rout was on. By the second inning, it was clear this was going to be a nightmarish game. “By that time we weren’t sprinting down the line after hitting routine ground balls and when we were hitting balls 300 feet, we weren’t taking the extra base,” Carvalho told the Boston Herald. “I don’t know how many times we had the bases loaded when all they had to do was make a force out at any base, but they couldn’t make the plays.”
Carvalho tried to get the umpires to pull the plug on the game, but they said the teams needed to play a regulation five innings. So, per Carvalho’s orders, the Old Rochester players began swinging at virtually any pitch that came their way. By the end of the game, with 82 runs across the plate, Carvalho had time to reflect. Put in the unfamiliar situation of trying to figure a way to get his own offense out, he regretted not making his players bunt more or take third strikes, but beyond that, there was little he could do.
“I was sick to my stomach then and I’m still sick about it,” he said. “The game never should have been played and, believe me, we exhausted every option within our power to keep what happened from happening. They are a very young team and seemed very content with just being out there and playing baseball but that was an experience I never want to experience again.”
Per the Herald, it’s not the worst beating in high school baseball history — that distinction belongs to a 109-0 thrashing in Iowa back in 1928 — but it’ll do for now.
The teams will play again on May 19, the second phase of a home-and-home, and Carvalho said he’d play his junior varsity players for the rematch.
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