Saturday, May 19, 2012

A District Baseball Tournament for the Ages

Usually I don't post on the weekends, but after last nights district finals at Coldwater I felt I needed to post about it before faded from my aging memory banks.

The rookie of the 3-man umpire crew, at least compared to Bob Grubaugh with 22 years and Ed Oberlander with 40...although I am older, age wise, than 14 years since re-joining the umpire ranks, seems paltry.  We had a District Tournament for the ages...three games, one going extra innings, decided by a total of 4 runs.  The pitching was excellent, and the final scores were 4-2, 3-2 in 8 innings, and 4-3, with last nights championship game ending on a bang-bang play with the bases loaded:

I had a pretty easy night in the finals, until the top of the 7th inning, when things got tight, and two key plays made things exciting for the final minutes.

Down 4-2 Crestview's Knights, rallied in the top of the 7th....getting the tying runs on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out....a hard ground ball to short, caught the Crestview runner off the rundown ensued, I moved into position behind the 3rd base bag, Bob moved from behind the plate.  Just when it looked like the runner was dead in the water, he stopped, stepped aside the tag, and made a beeline back to third base...sliding in ahead of the tag.  Minster's fielders and coaches were not happy, wanting me to appeal to problem, he saw the same thing I did, no tag, and the runner stayed in the imaginary 3 foot baseline.  This eventually set up the game ending play (seen on the video}.

4-3 with the defending State small school champions, Minster, in the lead....bases loaded and now 2 outs...The Wildcat's #1 hurler, who has been out with a sore elbow, had come in to get the final outs...on a 1-2 pitch, the Crestview batter bounces a high hopper to short, a quick toss to second for the force out to end the game....the play was admittedly close, a banger, I made the out call, and am pretty sure I got it right....but honestly it was as close as it could be...I do know the second baseman kept his foot on the bag long enough, and I would make the call every time...but that doesn't mean as a coach or player for Crestview I wouldn't have been disappointed or thought the call was wrong....all in all the three district games were great to view, play in, or umpire....heartbreaks and close controversial plays are all part of the game.

Out to enjoy the weekend....back later>>>>

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