Updated: July 7, 2013 12:12AM
Agree to disagree
Ultimately, it didn’t wind up costing the RailCats.
But they were not pleased with a sequence in the seventh inning of their 4-3 win over Kansas City on Tuesday.
After Craig Maddox led off with a single, Christian Vitters lined a shot up the right-center field gap. T-Bones right fielder Brandon Jones put his arms in the air, indicating the ball had gotten stuck, apparently under the wire under the signage on the wall. The umpires headed to the outfield to get a closer look, and called it a ground-rule double, with Maddox having to stop at third; Maddox clearly would have scored, and Vitters very likely would have had a triple.
“I question the call. … The ground rules clearly state everything’s in play,” RailCats manager Greg Tagert said.
On similar plays, RailCats right fielder Mike Massaro just reaches for the ball and grabs it, Tagert said. Tagert also said he was under the impression that there was room for interpretation, with the umpires having the discretion to allow Maddox to score if it was clear he was going to; but he was told any ground-rule double with a runner on first base requires that runner to return to third.
“I learned something new,” Tagert said.
The RailCats proceeded to score both runs, as Brian Kolb had an RBI single and pinch-hitter Danny Pulfer added a one-out RBI single, giving them a 3-2 lead.
Not really knowing any of the current players, Ryan Babineau’s most tangible remaining connection to the UCLA baseball program is coach John Savage.
But that doesn’t mean the catcher didn’t take pride in the Bruins winning the College World Series, completing a two-game sweep of Mississippi State on Tuesday night for the first title in their 94-year history.
“I’m fired up — of course,” said Babineau, who was a three-year starter at UCLA from 2006 to ’08. “I love it. It’s definitely awesome, great. It’s about time — they deserve it. They’ve had some good players for a long time, they just were never able to win it all. To win a College World Series, a lot of things have to go right for a long time. They’re kind of like the RailCats — they’re not the best on paper, but they found a way to scrap it up and get it done.”