OZARK, AL -- The National Junior College Athletic Association, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., announced Monday night that as a result of a violation of rules, Faulkner State Community College has been disqualified from the Alabama Community College Conference Baseball Championship Tournament to be held in Ozark, May 11-16.
Faulkner, 41-11 overall, 27-3 in Southern Division standings, has the best record in Alabama and is ranked seventh nationally.
As a result of Faulkner’s disqualification, the Enterprise State Community College Boll Weevils have moved into fourth place in the Southern Division.
A come-from-behind, 7-6, win over conference foe L.B. Wallace Sunday put ESCC a game ahead of Jeff Davis.
Enterprise, which handed Faulkner one of its division losses, finished the season with a 10-20 division record and an overall 11-26-1 mark.
Conference commissioner Dean Myrick delivered the news to ESCC coach Tim Hulsey Monday.
“You never want to celebrate at another team’s misfortunes,” said Hulsey. “If you stay in athletics long enough, you’re going to experience disappointments like this one of theirs.”
Hulsey, who took up team uniforms following Sunday’s doubleheader, held a called meeting with the Weevils in Ray Lolley Gym at 6:30 Monday night and told his players of the change in plans.
“We’ll play Snead State, the No. 3 seed from the North,” Hulsey explained. “We’ll play the first game of the tournament, Saturday at 9 a.m. The winner will play Southern Union (No. 1 North) Sunday afternoon.”
All tournament games will be played in historic Eagle Stadium, built in 1946 when Ozark fielded a team in the Alabama-Florida League.
Snead State, 15-17, 31-23, is located in Boaz; Gerry Ledbetter is the Parsons coach.
“Coach Ledbetter and I work together in Troy every summer,” Hulsey said. “I’ve known him for years; he’s a very good coach and you can bet he’ll have his team ready to play Saturday morning.”
Hulsey told the ESCC players the surprise trip to the state tournament can help put aside their disappointments this season.
“I know you were disappointed with this season; everyone associated with this team was disappointed when our season ended Sunday,” Hulsey told the group. “I know you all have wanted to play in the state tournament since you got here.
“Now, you have that chance, and it’s up to you to take advantage of the opportunity this presents. Now, you have the opportunity to show how well you can play, and to play as a team proud to be given a second chance.”
The Weevils, who completed spring semester Monday, will practice at 2 p.m. daily this week.
The tournament begins with a banquet for players and coaches Friday night.
First Round Match-ups
Saturday, May 11th
Eagle Stadium, Ozark
Enterprise State vs. Snead State - 9 a.m.
L.B. Wallace vs. Wallace-Hanceville - 12:30 p.m.
Wallace-Dothan vs. Chattahoochee Valley - 4 p.m.
Alabama Southern vs. Central Alabama - 7:30 p.m.