There's just about nothing worse than what happened in a New York high school baseball championship game.
Hornell was taking on Palmyra-Macedon in the Section V Class B1 championship game on Saturday and looked to have won the game, as they began celebrating what they thought was the game-ending strikeout. The problem? Hornell's catcher never tagged the batter on the dropped third strike, and the Pal-Mac runners kept running around the bases to give their team the win.
It's one of the wildest finishes to a high school championship you'll see.
Championship ends with two runs scoring on a dropped strike three while the other team is celebrating thinking they won.
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 28, 2023
Hornell, as you can tell, was leading 5-4 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. There were two strikes on Pal-Mac batter Brady Prebalick with runners on first and second base. Hornell pitcher Gates Miller threw a breaking pitch that was called strike three but the catcher dropped.
As any knowledgable baseball fan knows, if a catcher drops the third strike and either first base is unoccupied or there are two outs, then the batter becomes a runner. The catcher at that point needs to tag the batter out or thrown down to first for the third out.
Hornell's catcher doesn't tag the batter, looks back at the home plate umpire, who signals safe — indicating he clearly isn't out. He then is caught up in the moment and begins celebrating with Miller. Meanwhile, both Pal-Mac runners come all the way around to score while the ball is lodged in the back pocket of the catcher. At least one Hornell player was frantically trying to tell his team the game wasn't over yet.
Hornell head coach Joe Flint felt bad for his players, and he blamed himself for the unfortunate turn of events.
"I blame myself a little, maybe I could have gone out and argued it was a dead ball and kept the runner on third and said, 'Hey it's tied now, put the runner on third and make them beat us.' But we can't blame the umpires, everyone is running on the field and I'm not sure they knew how to handle it either," Hornell coach Joe Flint told the Hornell Sun and Wellsville Sun. "I'm not sure what else happened because I haven't watched the video. Maybe I should have called for a conference and protested. I blame myself on that piece of it, maybe I could have done a better job."
"The kids have been talking about it. I'm giving them the best advice I can," Flint said. "They are hanging in there ... the catcher is certainly not doing that great. But there's only so much you can do. People are going to say things, but time will heal it. This won't go away, I told them 20 years from now it's going to bother you, but the sun will come up tomorrow and other things in life will happen that are better. But we will remember it, we have to own it and always have each other's back."
There's no doubt that catcher will lose sleep over that play. But instead of focusing on the catcher's premature celebration, let's give kudos to the runners who never stopped circling the bases, even if it looked like the game was over.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.