What a way to lose it! New York high school baseball team throws away championship on a BIZARRE dropped third strike ruling – after celebrating too early
- Hornell’s catcher dropped the third strike and failed to get a tag on the runner
- As his teammates celebrated, Pal-Mac scored twice to win the game
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Yogi Berra’s adage of ‘it ain’t over ’til it’s over’ reared its ugly head in the New York State sectional baseball championships as one team celebrated too early – gifting their opposition the title.
In the championship game for Section V in the town of Batavia out in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Hornell High School held a 5-4 lead with one strike left against Palmyra-Macedon (Pal-Mac) – who had a runner on base.
After Pal-Mac scored three runs in the seventh and final inning leading up to this at-bat, the home plate umpire called a third strike which the catcher dropped.
On a dropped third strike, the batter needs to try to make it to first base before he gets thrown out.
The Pal-Mac batter began running towards first and the Hornell catcher tried to tag him – but the home plate umpire ruled the runner safe.
A dropped third strike by Hornell (grey pants) against Palmyra-Macedon (white pants) set off a chain of events that led to a devastating loss for Hornell
After the dropped third strike, Hornell’s catcher missed a tag and the umpire called him safe
Hornell’s players ran to the mound to celebrate as Pal-Mac’s runners rounded the bases
The initial batter (center, white pants) ran all the way around back to home to win the game
After umpires discussed the events, Palmyra-Macedon was granted the victory
Instead of throwing to first, the catcher ran towards the mound to celebrate with his pitcher and his teammates followed suit.
Meanwhile, the Pal-Mac runner who began the at-bat on second crossed home plate to tie the game.
After some confusion from the Hornell team that broke up their celebrations, the initial batter made it home as well – completing an inside-the-park home run on a dropped third strike to win the game.
Players and coaches for Hornell began gathering around the home plate umpire, angry and bewildered as they argued their case.
To the credit of some Hornell players, the broadcast caught at least two who tried to get the attention of their teammates and attempted to find the ball to make the play – but to no avail.
After gathering to discuss what happened, the umpires ruled that Pal-Mac had in fact won the game.
The broadcaster on the call for this game summed it up by saying, ‘Wow, this has gotta be the most bizarre ending I’ve ever seen.’
Palmyra-Macedon now advances to the state tournament qualifiers – where they will face Penn Yan High School.