By Cheval John
The Fort Worth Regional is probably the most competitive out of the entire 64 regional fields of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
It was proven yesterday when Sam Houston State and No.7 national seed host Texas Christian University (TCU) played a 22 inning game that lasted for 2 months in which the Horned Frogs “won” 3-2.
The Bearkats should feel good because they’ve been apart of the second longest game in tournament history.
They don’t because they have to turn around and try to win right now against Siena in the losers bracket in order to face the Horned Frogs again in the regional championship later that night and beat them to force a second game tomorrow night.
The truth of the matter is that Sam Houston should not have been in this position because to me the second base umpire Jeff Head gave the game to Texas Christian with two horrendous calls.
To add on to that, this game should not have gone to extra innings in the first place.
In the first inning, after the Bearkats tied it up at 1 and had the bases loaded when short stop Corey Toups hit a ground ball to short stop Keaton Jones, who flipped it to second baseman Garrett Crain for the second out, but Crain throw the ball away that seemingly allowed two runs to score.
However, Mr. Head called Burgess for the interference that resulted in the third out, which kept the game tied.
When TCU scored their second run in the top of the 6th inning to make it 2-1, the Bearkats answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie it up again at 2 that sent it into extras.
Sam Houston had a chance in the bottom of the 13th inning to end it, but catcher Anthony Azar was thrown out at home plate that kept it going.
The Bearkats seemed to had won it in the bottom of the 21st inning when with one out and the bases loaded, right fielder Travis Lee hit a grounder to Jones, who got the force out at second base, allowing Burgess to seemingly score the walk-off run after Jones couldn’t get it to first base for the third out.
However, Mr. Head called left fielder Luke Plucheck for the interference that resulted in the third out and scratch the run away.
In both those plays, there wasn’t an interference by either players, but somehow Mr. Head saw a phantom interference on both plays that extended the game.
Of course, Mr. Head probably knew that he made the mistake, but since he is the umpire, he has all the power and when both Plucheck and Sam Houston coach David Pierce argued with him, he ejected them both.
TCU saw their new chance and capitalized on it by scoring the game-winning run in the top of the 23rd and then reliever Riley Ferrell finished the depleted Kats to seal the win.
What this shows is that TCU couldn’t handled Sam Houston by themselves and they were on their way to a second loss against them (first loss came in the Houston College Classic).
But because of the bailout by Mr. Head, they are in the regional championship.
Though it was a history making game, Sam Houston will remember the way how Mr. Head cost them a possible chance to be a step closer towards a trip to the College World Series in Omaha.
Guess, Mr. Head is a TCU fan.