No outs, tie ballgame, Arkansas had the bases loaded against SEC rival LSU. What happens next will make you shake your head!
When asked about the Triple-Play, LSU Coach Paul Mainieri responded,
“There’s a saying around my sport that if you come to a ball game, you might see something you’ve never seen before, … And I think that would be classified as an example of that, wouldn’t you? That was really something.”
- Arkansas batter ripped a line drive [one-hopper] to short stop
- Not sure why – He checked the runner from second [who started back to second]
- SS threw home for what appears to be the first out [force play]
- Realizing the runner from first is also at second he takes off to third
- The catcher throws the ball to third; he is Tagged Out (important because of what happens next) Second Out
- The Umpire signals the Arkansas runner at home safe because the catcher did not tag him
- The Umpire, then signals the runner at first is out, claiming the LSU SS caught the ball First Out
- The Arkansas run was nullified when LSU appealed the runner leaving too early, failing to tag up. Third Out [Good catch by Coach Mainieri to react even if it may have been the wrong call]
Umpire Hiccup: We can claim the human element, but for whatever reason the ump he made a bad call. Possibly a decision influenced by the Arkansas runner who was apparently fooled also and turned to go back to the bag.
For whatever reason the replay showed the umpires missed the fact the SS one hopped the ball versus catching it. From that point Arkansas runners were out of control and the umpires made all the right calls.
Just in case you were thinking it, a line drive is not considered Infield Fly. However there is a Line Drive Rule similar to the infield fly rule, which prevents the defensive player from intentionally dropping the ball, but does not require the umpire to call Infield Fly Rule.
LSU Hiccup: The LSU SS should have thrown home immediately, instead of looking the runner back to second. Not only did it waste time, he threw off the wrong foot and almost pulled the catcher off home plate.
I am not implying it is LSU’s fault, but I do believe the umpire would have called it a catch if LSU thrown it home immediately. Imagine a quick throw to home forcing the runner from third, then make a quick throw to third forcing the runner from second. Then to first [Only runner starting from without a lead].
Who knows, LSU may have gotten a clean Triple Play!
Arkansas Hiccup: First it should be noted the Arkansas runners did seem to “Freeze on a Line Drive,” but after that it went down hill. Instead of seeing the ball down, the runner at second assumed he caught the ball. Unfortunately the runners at first and third did see it down and advanced. Leaving the runner at second stranded.
Murphy’s Law, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” applies.
Instead of recognizing the mental error and giving himself up, EGO [discounting the umps made the wrong call] got in the way. After tagging up at second and realizing the runner from first was also there, he takes off for third [possibly reinforcing the umps mind]. Only to be thrown out.
Had he given himself up, again discounting the wrong call, Arkansas may have scored the run. Ending up with a runner on first and second with one out. Instead he took off and leaving nothing to chance, the LSU 3B correctly tagged the runner [believing the runner tagged up].
See the ball down and never assume.
Until next Blog,