Emotions are high during the Little League World Series for players, coaches, and parents, especially when an umpire has a horrendous call like one did on Wednesday, August 16.
During the opening round of this year's Little League World Series, Japan took on Cuba in an international matchup. In the bottom of the first inning with Cuba's batter facing a 1-2 count, Japan's pitcher threw a pitch wide left of the strike zone. However, the umpire wasted no time calling the pitch a strike, leading to a disappointed reaction from the Cuban hitter.
You can see the pitch for yourself below, and if you pause it at the right time, you can see just how far outside the pitch actually was.
— Rico Bo$co (@Return_Of_RB) August 16, 2023
This isn't the first time Little League umpires have been under fire for horrendous calls, and it's not even the first time in this year's tournament. During the Great Lakes region championship between Illinois and Ohio, an umpire ruled a baserunner heading to first out despite making it to the bag by a full step before the ball arrived.
A replay fortunately corrected that issue in the previous game, but there's nothing to prevent an umpire from blowing a strike call like they did at Williamsport on Wednesday. Given the stakes and how hard kids have worked to make it all the way to the final tournament, it's unfortunate that the umpires and officiating continue to draw national attention for their lack of quality and consistency.
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