Arizona Wildcats on tough end of close call in World Series
Jun 30, 2016, 3:02 PM | Updated: 4:48 pm
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
The Arizona Wildcats fell to the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers Thursday by a score of 4-3, and in the process missed out on their chance to win the fifth College World Series title in school history.
Instead of winning their second championship since 2012, the Wildcats were forced to watch as the Chanticleers celebrated winning a World Series for the first time.
It’s no doubt a bitter pill to swallow, even for a team no one expected to be playing at this stage of the season. After all, underdogs or not, when you have a chance to win a title, failing to do so stings tremendously.
Of course, the loss did not come without some controversy.
Already figuring runs would be difficult to come by with Coastal ace Andrew Beckwith on the mound, Arizona looked like it was in prime position to take a third-inning lead when second baseman Cody Ramer reached third after a base hit was followed by a two-base error.
A sacrifice fly would have easily scored Ramer, as would have a regular hit. Arizona did not get either of those things, however, as Zach Gibbsons hit a high chopper, which Beckwith fielded cleanly before throwing home trying to cut down the runner at the plate.
Beckwith showing off his fielding prowess!! Coastal escapes the 3rd after cutting down a run at the plate. #CWS pic.twitter.com/i1U6TdIQB8
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 30, 2016
It was a very close play.
As the photos indicate, home plate umpire Joe Burleson called Ramer out. However, they also show Ramer appeared to beat the tag.
It’s worth noting that still frames do not tell the entire story, and even if they did, it’s understandable why Burleson made the call he did.
During the game, Arizona coach Jay Johnson was asked for his thoughts on the play.
Whether he was actually safe or not, the call on the field is what mattered and Arizona might have got the short end of some questionable umpiring.
That play was the closest the Wildcats would come to scoring until the sixth inning when, already trailing 4-0, they were able to push a couple of runs across the plate. They added one more in the ninth, but left the tying run at third and the winning run at second.
So, it’s not as if they did not have their chances.
Unfortunately — and frustratingly — for the Wildcats, Arizona fell one run short in a game where, maybe, they should have had one more run on the scoreboard.