VIDEO: Sam Houston thinks they win 21 inning game, overruled by umpire
For over six hours and 20 innings, the Sam Houston State University Bearkats battled regional top seed and national #7 seed Texas Christian University Horned Frogs to a 2-2 stalemate. The winner of the game moved to the regional championship game, the loser relegated to having to win three straight to advance to the super regional. In the bottom of the 21st inning, Sam Houston appeared to have cracked the scoring column in walk-off style. Not so fast, said NCAA umpire Jeff Head. A controversial runners interference was called on a double play breakup and the run was disallowed. A half inning later, the Frogs pushed across the winning run in the top of the 22nd to claim the victory. Watch the game highlights (courtesy of ESPN) with the controversial play at about the 45 second mark.
Two other spectacular TCU defensive plays are worth watching as well. The controversial ruling was that the slide was out of the base path. The NCAA doesn’t allow the baserunner quite as much latitude in taking out a fielder, I think that play stands in the majors. Maybe should have been left uncalled here, you hope the home crowd and national seed didn’t figure into the umpire’s decision. To the umpire’s credit, he made the call right away. Sam Houston State coach David Pierce and the offending player were ejected for arguing, with Pierce expressed regret about the effort his team put forward without the key victory (via ESPN):
“They had just played 21 innings and busted their tails,” Pierce said. “The emotions were there. Everybody in the stands had emotions, so the guys in the dugout had emotions. It was really tough.”
NCAA umpires are generally not made available to the media after the game. The contest ended up being the second longest in playoff history, the longest being 25 inning between Boston College and the University of Texas in 2009 (almost 5 years to the day) which featured Longhorn reliever Austin Wood pitching 12 1/3 no-hit innings at one point.
– David Whitlock