College umpire suspended for game-ending called strikes

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A college baseball umpire was suspended indefinitely by the Southland Conference on Saturday in connection with a pair of late called strikes to end a game between Mississippi Valley State and New Orleans.

The sequence of disputed calls began when home plate umpire Reggie Drummer called a second strike on a breaking ball that appeared to cross the plate below batter Devon Mims’ knees — low enough that UNO catcher Jorge Tejeda caught it just above the dirt behind the plate.

Mims hopped out of the batter’s box in protest and was subsequently called out on strikes on the next pitch, which broke low and away, well off the plate.

“Oh my gosh! Wow! He got rung up on ball two!,” UNO radio play-by-play announcer Emmanuel Pepis exclaimed during the broadcast. “That is horrific! … Drummer just wanted to go home.”

UNO won the game 7-3.

The Southland Conference said in its statement — which didn’t identify Drummer by name — that after a thorough review, “the home plate umpire’s conduct and actions were deemed detrimental to the conference and in violation of Section 3 Character and Conduct of the CCA Mechanics Manual for Baseball.”

Section 3 states, in part, that “umpires are expected to exhibit and uphold the standards of integrity of the umpiring profession,” and that “umpires shall bear a great responsibility for engendering public confidence in sports.”

A replacement umpire was assigned Saturday to the weekend series’ second game, which New Orleans won 35-3, surpassing the Privateers’ previous record of 32 runs in a game against Northern Illinois in 1994. UNO hit eight home runs Saturday.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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