Athletic Director Darren Phillips said Monday that he is in a state of “shock and disbelief” after learning the Mariners baseball team was not seeded in the Class B playoffs, despite having a better record than Hampton Bays, which made the playoffs
“When the kids came this morning and told me we weren’t on the website, I said ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,” Phillips said. The Mariners’ league record is 7-11, while the Baymen’s record is 6-12. Phillips said he contacted Section XI, which manages area school sports competitions, and was not satisfied with the answers he received. “The reasons they gave me are absurd,” he said. “I just didn’t buy it.”
He said the reasons given are that Hampton Bays beat Southampton head-to-head during the season, winning two of three games, and the seeding committee thought first-seeded Mattituck deserved a bye.
In response, Phillips said the Baymen only beat the Mariners by one run to take the series, and the Mariners were offered no such protection when they were the number one seed last year.
“There’s no consistency,” Phillips said. “There’s nothing in the section guidelines that state the number one team can have protection, they can have a bye.”
The Mariners are the defending champions in Suffolk County Class B and Long Island Class B, Phillips pointed out. In fact, they won the championships two years in a row, he said. “Now they won’t even give us a shot in the playoffs.”
“I just feel bad for the kids, because they deserved it the way they played at the end of the year,” he said.
Phillips said each of the four Class B schools played very competitively and should have been selected for the playoffs, just as they were last year. But, Section XI rules dictate that the seeding committee's decisions are final and can’t be appealed, he said. “I just feel like the kids are wronged and there’s nothing you can do.”
A message left Monday afternoon for Ed Cinelli, the director of Section XI, was not immediately returned.