Tommy Benson was
celebrated a 5-3 IHSAA Semistate victory over the Trojans on Saturday,
Benson continued to vent about a second inning play.
“It happened to me
earlier in the Sectional against Merrillville,” Benson said. “I didn’t say
anything about it. I looked up the rule. My dad told me to make sure the
umpire knows. My uncle’s an umpire, he looked it up.
“Why do we get
punished when he made the wrong call?”
Trailing 4-0 in the
top of the second, Tyler Nelson and Brett Roeske singled with one out to put
runners on first and third. After courtesy runner Patrick Sosby stole second
base, Benson came to the plate with two outs.
Benson singled to
center scoring Nelson and Sosby, moving all the way to second base on the
The home plate
umpire called catcher’s interference as Benson’s bat struck the glove of
Tigers’ catcher Kiel Brenczewski. The play was ruled dead and Nelson and
Sosby went back to their bases and Benson was awarded first.
Benson was livid
and had to be restrained by teammates as Campbell got the explanation from
the home plate umpire.
“(The umpire) said
he called catcher’s interference as soon as the bat hit the ball,”
Chesterton head coach Jack Campbell said. “That stops play and sends the
runners back to their bases. I didn’t see anything or hear anything. I was
watching the baserunners when he came out and called the play dead.”
“(The umpire) says
its not Major League Baseball,” Benson said. “I don’t know how four of them
don’t know the rule. If the others knew the rule, why didn’t the speak out
and make a change?”
delay, the Trojans got a one-hop ground ball back to the mound and the
Tigers were out of the jam.
Baserunning, article 1 under obstruction in the National Federation of High
School’s baseball rule book states if the catcher or any other defensive
player obstructs him. The coach, or captain of the team at bat, after being
informed by the umpire-in-chief of the obstruction, shall indicated whether
or not he elects to decline the obstruction penalty and accept the resulting
play. Such election shall be made before the next pitch (legal or illegal),
before the award of an intentional base on balls, or before the infielders
leave the diamond. Obstruction of the batter is ignored if the batter-runner
reaches first and all other runners advance at least one base.
“I don’t understand
what’s going on,” Benson said. “If the bat hits his glove, let it play out
and you can take what happens. They blew the game. I don’t understand why
there’s no process against this.”
Matthew Cherry had the other view of it.
“It was huge, and
it was the right call,” Cherry said. “It was catcher interference, and in
high school, it is a dead ball immediately. It’s unfortunate because in pro
ball it is not. You get to take the better of the result, so the single
would have stood. It was a huge break for us.”
Two local umpires
were on the bases for the game, neither was consulted about the rule during
the game. Once the home plate umpire ruled the play dead, any consultation
about the rule was null and void.
“I don’t want our
season ruined,” Benson said. “It shouldn’t have happened. If they beat us,
OK, but they didn’t beat us. Those two runs tie the game. We just wanted a
chance. The umpires were wrong. They didn’t know the rule. They took the
game out of our hands.”