Barnegat’s Jason Groome, who threw no-hittier days ago, benched by NJSIAA
A Barnegat High School pitcher's trip to the major leagues will have to wait after the pitcher was benched by the NJSIAA.
Days after he threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter against Central Regional, the NJSIAA ruled senior Jason Groome, 17, violated transfer rules after playing at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, last year and won't be eligible to join the Bengals until May 1.
The ruling wipes out his no-hitter and Barnegat forefits its first two games of the season.
With a 97 MPH fastball, Groome is ranked as the top prospect in the June major league baseball draft by Baseball America.
“We misinterpreted the transfer rule. The bottom line is, whether we knew it before or now, not much changes. He’s still going to have to sit the 30 days. The unfortunate thing is we have to give up two games, but we’re okay with that. We’ll deal with that internally," Barnegat coach Dan McCoy told the Shore Sports Network.
McCoy told the sports website that although he doesn't agree with the ruling, the school will not appeal.
“The spirit of the rule is not intended for this situation," McCoy said. "He was here up until November of his junior year before he visited IMG and then he transferred there for his second semester. The spirit of the rule is not designed for a situation like this.”
Groome's agent Jeff Randazzo told Philly.com that "someone decided to pick on a 17-year-old" by reporting Groome to the NJSIAA. But, Groome will not the let the incident affect him according to Randazzo who told the newspaper "he's a tough kid."
The Associated Press contributed to this report