Baseball: Munster gets win on controversial home run call
By Dennis Churilla Post-Tribne correspondent May 13, 2013 8:20PM
Munster's Mike Mueller is met at home plate by teammates Craig Dedelow and Trace McCarthy after Mueller's first inning grand slam against Highland Monday afternoon at Highland High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 15, 2013 6:34AM
HIGHLAND — Highland coach Dan Miller might request an instant replay system as an early retirement present. He needed it Monday as Munster’s Mike Mueller launched a controversial, first-inning grand slam to propel the visiting Mustangs to a 5-1 victory over the Trojans.
“That’s my first grand slam at this level,” Mueller said. “I knew it had a good chance, but I only took a glance at it as I was running down to first.”
Munster had loaded the bases on an error, a hit batsman and a walk, setting up Mueller’s blast. The line drive sailed over the left field wall and, depending on your affiliation, either in front of or behind the foul pole. Miller debated his case and elicited a second opinion from the base umpire, but the ‘fair ball’ call remained unchanged.
“I don’t want to be a crybaby, but it was an important call and it went against us,” Miller said. “None of (Munster’s) fans acted like it went out, none of their bench said anything and none of their kids said anything.”
Mueller finished with two of Munster’s three hits and he also had six assists in the field behind the two-hit pitching of Jonathan Azar (4-2), who struck out just two while surrendering two walks. But he induced 16 groundball outs on an infield grass thickened with the heavy spring rains.
“I think he only threw 75 pitches in seven innings,” said Munster coach Bob Shinkan. “He did a good job of staying around the plate. We’ve been getting ahead in the counts, but losing people late and he did a good job of avoiding that today.”
Highland (9-10-1, 5-6) scored its lone run when Mark Vargas led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and eventually scored on Alec Smith’s single.
Munster (15-8, 7-4) responded in the top of the second inning with a run from Joe Jumonville to close out the scoring.