By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
NORTH LAUREL — It might have taken more than a few hours, but after all was said and done, Corbin Little League Girls head coach Jimmy Stidham received the good news that his team’s 2-1 victory over Clay County Tuesday would stand despite a protest from Clay County’s coaches that Corbin failed to play two players.
A relieved Stidham was more than happy for his team.
“I might have slept one or two hours (last night),” he said. “It was a reckless night. I was worrying for the girls.”
Stidham was quick to point out he wasn’t worried about his two-game suspension because of the failure to substitute the two players in, but he was afraid he might cost his team the one-run win.
“Not so much the penalty on me, it is what it is, I was just nervous for the girls and sad for the possibility for them losing the victory,” he admitted. “There was a lot of stress, a lot of hindsight — we could have done this or that, as far as the line-up, a lot of replaying in my mind.
“The plan we had, it worked out, better than we had dreamed,” Stidham added. “I’m just super-excited for the girls. They get to keep the win. I understand there is a person that has to shoulder the burden and I accept that. I just hope that I at least get to watch my daughter and her teammates play.”
After going over the rules Tuesday night, Stidham said he didn’t know what decision to expect from the Tournament Committee in Williamsport, Pa.
“I read that it was a mandatory two-game suspension for any coaching duties,” he said. “ The penalty for the team could be a forfeiture of the game. I’m very glad that didn’t happen and I’m thankful for that.
“It was just a mental error,” Stidham added. “For the lack of a better term, it was my first year coaching All-Stars and trying to learn all of the rules. I was blindsided by one and didn’t have everyone covered, bottom line. I did, but the plan didn’t work out.”
Little League spokesman Chris Downs confirmed Stidham’s two-game suspension along with Corbin’s 2-1 victory over Clay County Wednesday.
“The protest did come through and it was reviewed,” he said. “The appropriate action per the rule was a two-game suspension for the manager, and the ruling was a two-game suspension for the coach’s next two games and in this case, the game outcome is to stand.”
The win advances Corbin to the winner’s bracket finals against North Laurel today at 6 p.m. while South London and Clay County will play each other in the loser’s bracket at 8 p.m.