The Southland Conference in NCAA’s Division one is going viral this week for what many call the worst strike three call in the history of college baseball. On Friday night, Mississippi Valley State squared up against New Orleans in a game that would feature one of the most frustrating endings in all of the sports world.
ESPN shared a video of the play on their Twitter account (shown below). In the clip, the batter from Valley takes a pitch that he thought was low and outside, and the umpire calls strike two. The batter then jumps in dismay, unable to believe that the pitch was ruled a strike. In truth, while that pitch may not have been in the zone, a college umpire will call that a strike from time to time. No matter how frustrating that call was to the batter, there was likely no ill intent behind it.
Tempers flared after the strikeout call that ended the Miss. Valley St.-New Orleans game.
Do you agree with the call? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/x6risaNisk
— ESPN (@espn) March 11, 2023
On the next pitch, however, the umpire must have been looking to get back at the batter for disagreeing with the prior decision. The pitch is delivered into the opposite batter’s box, with the catcher being forced to slide to stop the ball from rolling to the backstop. Somehow, to the shock of the announcers, this pitch was the final strike, and then just like that, the game ended. According to Fox News, the announcer, in complete shock, exclaimed:
“Oh my gosh! Wow! He got wrung up on ball two, and the game is over. Oh my goodness. That is horrific!”
On Saturday, the Southland Conference released a statement about the unnamed umpire’s egregious officiating. The statement says:
“The Southland Conference is committed to promoting and enforcing the principles and standards of good sporting conduct in connection with all Conference activities involving our member institutions, including competition against non-conference opponents. The Conference expects this conduct to be upheld by all game participants.
“After a thorough review of the New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State baseball contest on March 10, 2023, the Southland Conference confirmed the home plate umpire’s conduct and actions were deemed detrimental to the Conference and in violation of Section 3 Character and Conduct of the CAA Mechanics Manual for Baseball.
“As a result, the umpire has been removed from the series and has been suspended indefinitely from Southland Conference baseball games.
“The Conference will have no further comment.”
Twitter users were up in arms about the call and were asking for this decision to be made as soon as the video was posted.
One user said, “The ump should be banned from baseball for ending the game out of spite. See the way he walked away, that was a punishment for questioning authority. It’s like a journalist knowing the truth and telling a lie, they should be banned from journalism.”
Another said, “When the catcher even agrees with you that it wasn’t a strike, that says something. Seems to me like the umpire either can’t see or made this personal.”
That was, without a doubt, the worst third-strike call I have ever seen. Kudos to the players for keeping cool about the situation, and allowing the conference officials to deal with the rogue umpire.
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