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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

After Coleman’s ejection, Rochester loses by forfeit to Logansport

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Logansport softball team defeated Rochester by forfeit at Fansler Field Wednesday after an awkward standoff between Rochester coach Jim Coleman and the home plate umpire led to Coleman being ejected.

Logansport was leading 6-0 in the top of the fifth inning when the game was stopped.

The event in question came with Jocelynn Vincent batting. With the count 0-1, the second pitch of the at-bat was called a ball.

After the pitch, the home plate umpire pointed at the Rochester dugout along the third baseline and ejected assistant coach David Musselman.

Coleman came out of the dugout and walked in the direction of the circle to talk with pitcher Brailyn Hunter. As he reached the baseline, he called “time” and raised his hand.

The umpire did not acknowledge him.

After several more seconds of Coleman standing with his hand up, he said “time” again. This time, the umpire ejected Coleman.

“I asked for time twice,” Coleman said. “He didn’t acknowledge me the first time. So I knew that you had to be granted time before you cross the line. I asked for time the first time. He was looking right at me. I didn’t hear him give me time. So when I took another step, I stopped again and turned and had my hand up and asked for time.”

Coleman then waved his players off the field and into the dugout. He said the rules allow him to talk to his players and explain what he wants from them before leaving the premises.

“Are you going to continue?” the umpire asked with Rochester’s players now in the dugout.

Before Coleman could answer, the umpire said, “We’re done.”

He emptied his pockets of extra softballs and walked off the field.

“When you get tossed, you’re allowed time with your team,” Coleman said. “And all I was going to do was, ‘Hey, we’re out of here. These are the changes. Here are my cards.’ So it was just to meet with them and tell them not to give up. We’re down 6-0. Keep fighting. He gave me less than two seconds to answer him before he called it.”

Coleman said he was “absolutely” planning on sending the players back on the field and continuing with the game.

Instead, Coleman shook Logansport coach Chad Cripe’s hand, and the teams went through the traditional game-ending handshake line.

The names of umpires are sometimes, but not always, revealed during pregame introductions at Fansler Field. They were not revealed prior to this game.

It’s believed that the umpire will have to document a report to the IHSAA detailing his version of events. An automatic one-game suspension comes with an ejection, and Coleman and Musselman will miss Rochester’s next game.

Coleman said he had never had an issue with this particular umpire. He said the quality of umpiring has been “outstanding” this season.

He said it was unusual for Musselman to be ejected without a warning.

“It’s unfortunate for the kids,” Coleman said. “It’s unfortunate for Logansport. I apologized to their head coach. In regards to it, they also mentioned about their frustrations with this set of umpires as well. We have not had this set of umpires this season.”

As for what happened prior to the abrupt ending, Logansport freshman pitcher Brooklynn Haggerty struck out 10 of the 13 batters she faced.

Aubrey Miller reached on an infield single to lead off the first inning for Rochester’s only hit. The only other baserunner was Bria Rensberger, who walked in the first. Miller was eventually thrown out trying to steal home as part of a double steal to end the first inning.

“Offensively, we just didn’t get the bat on the ball,” Coleman said.

Mia Howdeshell and Hunter pitched two innings each.

“Mia in the circle started falling behind, and that’s something that we’ve been working with her,” Coleman said. “Saturday against Pioneer (an 8-7 Lady Z loss), she kept falling behind, and when you consistently fall behind 1-0, 2-0, that advantage goes to the hitter. We didn’t jump ahead like we needed to against a good Logansport team.”

Tatianna Jones and Natalee Packard had two RBIs each for Logansport.


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