Watch: High school baseball team loses championship game while prematurely celebrating strikeout
By Adam Gretz,2023-05-28
No matter how many baseball games you have watched in your life you have probably never seen an ending quite like this.
It involved a dropped third strike, a premature celebration, a lot of confusion and a two-run walk off ... strikeout?
We take you to New York Section V, Class B1 championship game on Saturday between Hornell High School and Palmyra-Macedon.
Pal-Mac ended up winning the game, 5-4, thanks to a five-run seventh inning to walk it off. A stunning result on its own without further context. But it is how they scored the final two runs that made this outcome truly unbelievable.
Hornell thought it won the game on a called strike three, but the catcher dropped the ball. There was an attempt to tag out the batter — as would be required on the dropped third strike — but the home plate umpire clearly gave a safe sign indicating the tag was not made.
Despite that, Hornell's catcher put the ball in his back pocket and ran out to the pitcher's mound to start celebrating with his team. All while the tying run came in to score.
If you watch, you can see Hornell's second baseman frantically trying to get the attention of his teammates as he seemed to be the only player on the team aware of the situation and what was unfolding.
He was unable to get the attention of his teammates in time as the winning run was able to circle the entire way around the bases for the winning run.
Hornell's coach talked about the result to the Wellsville Sun and said he has not yet watched the video and is instead talking to players individually.
“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.”
Pal-Mac had won 16 consecutive games going in and will not advance to the New York state tournament.