124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


Fairfield pitcher's pitch flies right into umpire’s pocket, is a definite glitch in the College World Series matrix

When it comes to baseball, physics are a fickle beast. We all assume what goes up must come down and that an object in motion remains in motion unless acted upon by an equal or opposite force, but a century of Pesky Poles, ivy-covered walls, and balls bouncing out of outfielders gloves (and sometimes even off their heads) has proven otherwise. But never in all our years of watching caroms, ricochets, bad hops, and broken-bat singles have we seen anything quite like what happened during the College World Series’ Austin Regional Semifinal on Sunday.

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That ball goes high and inside, somehow gets past the catcher and flies right into the umpire’s pocket, who doesn’t even feel it on account of his chest protector. Hilarity ensues as the catcher throws off his mask, desperately searching for the passed ball with runners on second and third before everyone realizes the ump has it tucked right next to his Rolaids and Chapstick. Unreal.

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There’s been a lot of talk about doctored balls the last week or two, and perhaps some scuffing and pine tar is responsible for this glitch in the baseball matrix, but for now we’ll chalk this one up as yet another example of unexplained baseball phenomena. Angels in the infield, perhaps?