Saturday, April 15, 2006

Take them any way you can get them

Harvard has won a wild second game, 8-7. With the bases loaded in the ninth, Steffan Wilson (whose double keyed a comeback from three runs down earlier) failed to catch what looked like a pop-up foul ball after it drifted back into fair territory. He picks the ball up, throws to the shortstop covering third to get the guy (Gorynski) there, then Sawyer (on second) gets tagged out at third, 6-5... or did he? I'm not sure whether the infield fly rule was involved--the radio call was less than certain--but perhaps if it was it shouldn't have been. It all sounded very confusing. Here is one attempt to clarify things. Regardless, what should've been bases loaded situation with two outs suddenly ended, largely because Steffan Wilson couldn't handle that ball.

That meant Javier Castellanos, who had relieved Matt Brunnig on that play, only faced one batter. In fact, he only threw one pitch. He will start tomorrow. Matt Brunnig threw a good number of pitches in relief (33), and one suspects that we'll see Brad Unger pitch in the other game, if not start it.

Brown and Dartmouth also split their doubleheader, meaning that after all this craziness, Harvard has not lost any ground. They are lucky.

Cole: 3/23, 7H, 3 ER. This is the first we've seen him struggle in the Ivy season. The Crimson also committed three errors, and survived what sounded like a couple of questionable calls on the basepaths.

UPDATE: Good job by Kurt the Harvard SID:
Then things got really weird as the game moved into its third hour. The first two batters reached base safely on singles to start the Yale ninth. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional base on balls, Harvard went to Javier Castellanos to face Ryan Lavarnway. Lavarnway hacked at the first pitch he saw and sent a towering pop up down the third base line.

Infield fly was never called because it was not apparent that the ball would land in fair territory. Harvard's Wilson twisted around several times in an attempt to catch the pop at third base but could not in the swirling wind as the ball fell inches fair. With all three Yale runners staying close to their respective bags, Wilson was able to flip the ball to Brown, the team's shortstop. Brown tagged third base runner PJ Gorynski at the bag and then flied the ball back to Wilson at third who stepped on the bag to get Sawyer on a force play at third and end the game in front of a stunned crowd of 638.


jessica said...
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Anonymous said...

The umpires don't have to yell out "infield fly" as the rule takes precedence over any mistaken non call. They should have called out, at he apex of the popup, "infield fly if fair." Maybe they did, it was just hard to pick up. At this division 1 level, that play should have been made with more or less ordinary effort. Ignorance is not bliss and all players should know the rule which is the batter is out and all runners advance at their peril.