College umpire suspended after game called for spectacular strike

The Southland Conference announced that the plate umpire who called a loud third strike to end a game between New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State on Friday night has been suspended indefinitely.

Mississippi Valley State left fielder Devon Mims was up with a 1–1 count with two outs in the ninth inning when plate umpire Reggie Drummer threw two straight hits on pitches outside the batter’s box, the former of which hit Mims. Appeared crossing the plate. The knee — so low that UNO catcher Jorge Tejeda caught it just above the dirt behind the plate.

Mims exited the batter’s box in protest and was subsequently out on a strike on the next pitch, which broke down and away from the plate.

“Oh my god! Whoa! He was up on the second ball!” UNO Radio play-by-play announcer Emmanuel Pepis said during the broadcast. “It’s terrible! … The drummer just wanted to go home.”

The game ended with New Orleans winning 7–3 and an enraged Mims trying to confront Drummer, ignoring him as he walked off the field.

“After a thorough review of the New Orleans and Mississippi Valley state baseball contest on March 10, 2023, the Southland Conference affirmed the home plate umpire’s conduct and actions were deemed detrimental to the conference and Section 3 of the CCA’s character and conduct Deemed to be in violation of the Mechanics Manual for Baseball,” the conference said in a statement Saturday.

Section 3 states that, “Umpires are expected to demonstrate and maintain standards of integrity of the umpiring profession” and “Umpires bear a greater responsibility for promoting public confidence in the game.”

A replacement umpire was appointed on Saturday for the second game of the weekend series, which New Orleans won 35–3, surpassing the Privateers’ previous record of 32 in a game against Northern Illinois in 1994. Uno hit eight home runs on Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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