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Umpires mess up in Missouri v. Georgia game

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
One out, runners at 1st and 2nd. Batter hits a line drive to 1B. 1B then tags first. Umpire at 1B calls an out. Batter-runner and runner at 1st walk toward dugout, passing first, but never enter dugout. Runner at 1st never reaches 2nd base. Runner at 1st is never tagged.

There is a dispute about whether 1B catches the ball in the air or it hits the ground. (Replays show it was a catch, but it was very, very close.)

Umpires confer, decide that the ball wasn't caught, and therefore that the runner at 1B was not. Then, the umpires place the runner who was at 1st at 2nd. The end result is runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs.

Next batter doubles, scoring both runners.

Seems to me that something is messed up somewhere. Any ideas?
 

May 18, 2009
1,311
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Yikes, bad calls happen. You hate to see them happen to you but it's part of the game.

I just hope it wasn't the deciding factor in the game.
 

MTR

Jun 22, 2008
3,277
38
One out, runners at 1st and 2nd. Batter hits a line drive to 1B. 1B then tags first. Umpire at 1B calls an out. Batter-runner and runner at 1st walk toward dugout, passing first, but never enter dugout. Runner at 1st never reaches 2nd base. Runner at 1st is never tagged.

There is a dispute about whether 1B catches the ball in the air or it hits the ground. (Replays show it was a catch, but it was very, very close.)

Umpires confer, decide that the ball wasn't caught, and therefore that the runner at 1B was not. Then, the umpires place the runner who was at 1st at 2nd. The end result is runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs.

Next batter doubles, scoring both runners.

Seems to me that something is messed up somewhere. Any ideas?

They probably killed the play because both teams were heading off the field when the UG coach realized the PU did not rule a catch and entered the field of play. Any subsequent action is irrelevant, so all that throwing the ball around, or the runners leaving the field of play about which the idiot talking heads were spouting was just a waste of air time.

Once there was a discussion, the chances of a double play were almost nil. The placement of the runners was the proper mechanic for ruling the BR out. If the call had been overturned and ruled a catch, the runners probably would have been placed at 1st & 2nd.

Sorry to disappoint, but the umpires did exactly what they were supposed to do in this situation.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
I'm not disappointed, just interested. What rules are in play on something like this? I'm not sure where you go in the rule book to find the rule for, "Everyone thinks the inning is over, but it really isn't."

Thanks,

Ray
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
MTR, you're wrong.

12.12.5 of the NCAA rules says:

No batter-runner or runner may abandon a base or effort to run the bases by after reaching a base safely, obviously heading toward her position or the dugout (e.g., believing she was put out, the batted ball was foul, etc.) or leaving the field of play for any reason.
The runner going to second base clearly went toward the dugout. She was off the playing field, in foul territory and going to the dugout. She had her back to the infield. She should have been called out.

What rule says she gets another base? The ruling on the field was that the BR was forced at 1B. Therefore, the runner was not "required" to go to 2B.
 

MTR

Jun 22, 2008
3,277
38
MTR, you're wrong.

12.12.5 of the NCAA rules says:



The runner going to second base clearly went toward the dugout. She was off the playing field, in foul territory and going to the dugout. She had her back to the infield. She should have been called out.

What rule says she gets another base? The ruling on the field was that the BR was forced at 1B. Therefore, the runner was not "required" to go to 2B.
The runner never reached a base safely. The runner was NOT going to be put back to 1B. R3 was heading toward 2B at the time and the umpire is not going to assume she would have reversed her direction because F3 took the ball to 1B. The action by the crew was correct.

Below are the rules under which the crew acted.

15.2.14 The plate umpire is empowered to rectify any situation in which a
delayed call or a reversal of a call places a player in undue jeopardy.

15.9.3 The umpires may rectify any situation in which the reversal of an
umpire’s decision or a delayed call by an umpire places a batter-runner, a
runner or the defensive team in jeopardy. This correction is not possible
after one legal or illegal pitch has been thrown or after the pitcher and
all infielders have clearly vacated their normal fielding positions and
have left fair territory.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
I see your point. The problem is that under 15.2.14 or 15.9.3 both say "reversal" or "delayed call". The umpire neither reversed his call nor made a delayed call. He called an out as soon as the player stepped on the bag. The players and the fans (but not the umpire) assumed that the ball was caught in the air and that there was a double play. In fact, he was calling the BR out at 1B when everyone thought he was calling the R out at 1B.

The runner at 1B had reached a base successfully--she had reached 1B successfully previusly. 12.12.5 doesn't say that runner had to reach the next base successfully or had to reach base successfully on that play.

Suppose that the runner at 2B when the play started kept going and ran all the way home. What then? Would she have been placed back at 3B?

The call didn't change the results of the game, but it is an interesting situation.
 

MTR

Jun 22, 2008
3,277
38
Wish I could find a clip showing the play. I thought, and could be wrong, that the 1B umpire thought it was a catch though I don't know how he would see that. However, if you saw the batter-runner, she approached 1B looking at the umpire, arms spread with a WTF look on her face. That makes me think something else happened than just the play we are assuming occured.

We really don't know exactly when the ball was declared dead and why. Because of that, I'm giving the umpires the benefit of the doubt as to what actually happened.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
If you want to see the play, go to: ESPN 360-Replays. Select "NCAA" from the upper drop down menu next to the words "All NCAA Championships Events". Then click the tab marked "REPLAY". Then, select "21 days" in the drop down menu under the the tabs. A list of games will pop up.

Select the "Missouri v Georgia" game on Saturday, May 30. click on "watch replay". You have to watch a commercial, and then you can move the progress bar in the video window. Things start happening right around the 2:00:00 (2 hour) mark of the game.

Thanks,

Ray
 

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