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Montreat College baseball won its series at Bluefield University this weekend, but it should have had the chance at the sweep. Instead, an ump show may have cost the Cavaliers their seventh win of the season.
Montreat, a a private, Christian college in North Carolina, was founded in 1916 and has less than 1,000 students. 45 of them play baseball, and were screwed out of a game-tying home run on Friday.
For whatever reason, perhaps due to weather, the Cavaliers played a three-game series on only Thursday and Friday this week. They won their game on Thursday night 10-9 and won the first game of a doubleheader 6-1 on Friday afternoon.
The second game of the doubleheader is where the controversy lies.
Bluefield went up 2-1 on a groundout in the sixth inning. One half inning later, in the last inning of the seven-inning bout, redshirt junior Caleb Abshier stepped into the box in the leadoff spot.
He went deep on the first pitch he saw to tie the game— or so it appeared.
Abshier gave the ball a ride to deep left-centerfield and Montreat’s dugout went bananas.
However, after Abshier had already rounded the bases, he was ruled out. The umpire decided that the 6-foot-1, 205-pound first baseman had not touched first base.
Montreat College baseball went on to lose 2-1.
Upon review, the call was wrong. It’s not necessarily 100% definitive, but it’s pretty clearly that Abshier touched first base.
In fact, the umpire most likely to see whether he touched the bag or not was not even looking.
Umpires do their best. And in this instance, the call was made on the tail-end of a 14-inning day.
Heck, Montreat College baseball may not have won anyway.
That does not excuse what happened. If the first base umpire did not call Abshier out for missing first base after hitting a game-tying home run in the final inning, he should not have been called out at all.
It was yet another egregious example of an ump show ruining what could have been a great finish. Boo.