An egregious umpire error on during Thursday’s game between Oregon and Washington had huge ramifications. A mistake by the third base umpire ended the game, sending Washington to the Little League World Series and eliminating Oregon from the tournament entirely.
The controversial call happened in extra innings of Thursday’s Little League Northwest Regional Final. In the bottom of the seventh inning (Little League games are only six innings long), Washington was up at bat with a runner on first base and one out.
With a 1-0 count, the Washington batter hit a ball down the third baseline. The third base umpire immediately threw his hands up in the air to declare the ball foul and the Oregon fielders relaxed. However, despite the foul ball call, the umpires allowed play to continue. As a result, the Washington runner scored from first base, resulting in a walk-off victory for Washington.
Washington advances to the Little League World Series because umpires say they called fair even though there was a foul ball signaled pic.twitter.com/rsFURks1Y5
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 12, 2022
The umpire crew did eventually decide to review the replay. But even though the replay clearly shows the umpire calling the ball foul, the crew declared that the ball was fair and the run counted.
As a result of the obvious umpire error, Oregon was eliminated from the tournament while Washington punched its ticket to the Little League World Series in Williamsport.
This wasn’t the first time a Little League umpire went viral this week for blown calls. Another Little League umpire drew plenty of criticism earlier this week when he made multiple controversial strike calls in crucial moments of Wednesday’s regional game between Kentucky and Ohio.
It looks like Major League Baseball umpires aren’t the only ones blowing important calls this year.