Ejection worthy? 9u baseball, runner ejected for running into catcher blocking the baseline





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Published on May 6, 2012

Want to clear up confusion, Runner IS ejected. Umpire does a bad job signaling the ejection but when he signals the out a second time he is ejecting the runner. (watch catcher's coach call for it and then applaud the ejection while his catcher kneels over in pain)
This is show 1/2 speed, in order to catch the subtilties of the play
Full-speed clip found in (i) card icon in upper right.

Runners on the corners, pitch delivered, and runner on 1st takes off for second. Fake throw down to the pitcher catches the runner on 3rd the rundown follows. What's in question here is should the runner be ejected, out or safe?
Rules in effect, according to tourney director, are some modified NC High School rules. I have to guess NCHSAA rules, because those are the only ones I know. But, from what I was told by the director is the runner has to avoid running into the catcher if the catcher has the ball, here he doesn't, well not until 1/10 of a second before the collision.

This is show 1/2 speed, in order to catch the subtitles of the play
1) As soon as catcher gets the ball back to the pitcher he moves out straddling baseline 6-7 feet in front of the plate.
2) Pitcher is chasing down the runner with the ball in hand
3) With pitcher chasing, the runner he tries to get home but catcher is blocking the baseline.
4) Pitcher makes throw wide to the catcher's glove side causing him to move to the left and into where the runner is going. (Some could argue it appears the catcher moves further into the runner's path.)
5) Catcher catches the ball 1/10 of a second (it's quick real-time) before the runner and catcher collide.

So, what's the correct call?
Is the runner out? Did the catcher obstruct the runner, no out and award the run? Or is the runner out and ejected for running into the catcher?

Tough call given everything that happens so quickly. One thing for sure, the umpire has a great view and his initial signal is the runner is out. The catcher's coach comes in yelling and the umpire ejects the runner. Was this the correct call?

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