Some sanctions lifted against Battle Ground baseball team

The postseason ban against the Battle Ground baseball team for the 2012 season was lifted Monday by the District Directors’ Appeal Board of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

The Battle Ground baseball team was placed on a two-year probabation last May and banned from the postseason in 2012 after it was discovered that Tigers coach Billy Hayes intentionally used an ineligible player in a game late last season.

The Appeals Board did not lift the portion of the sanctions that banned Hayes from coaching in any postseason game the Tigers should qualify for in 2012. Battle Ground went 1-16 last season and 0-12 in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.

Hayes also will serve a five-game suspension at the start of the 2012 season. That penalty was imposed by the school district as part of an agreement that allowed Hayes to remain as Battle Ground’s head coach, a position he has held since 2005.

The sanctions arose after Hayes inserted senior Luke Heyer in the final inning of game on April 30 against Heritage in which the Tigers were trailing 10-0.

“More so for the kid. Nothing more than that,” Hayes said last spring of the incident. “No other agenda. Purely for the kid to have one varsity at-bat at Battle Ground.”

Heyer attended Prairie as a freshman before getting an exemption to attend Heritage for his sophomore and junior year. He played varsity baseball at Heritage as a junior.

After his family decided Heritage was not a proper fit for Heyer, he enrolled at Battle Ground. However, BGHS athletic administrators ruled him a transfer student. Under WIAA rules, transfer students must wait one school year before participating in varsity athletics.

The Heyer family appealed the decision with WIAA District 4 and then with the WIAA itself. Both parties agreed with the school’s decision. After losing his appeals, Heyer played on the Battle Ground junior varsity team until Hayes inserted him into the late-season game at Heritage.

Battle Ground athletic director Karla Kalian said the school does not intend to appeal any further sanctions against the team.

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