Alabama Auburn protest

The New York Yankees’ 18-inning marathon win over the Chicago Cubs Sunday drew a lot of the baseball world’s attention Sunday, but it should be noted that there was perhaps an even crazier game earlier in the day in the college ranks. That would be the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 11-9 win over the Auburn Tigers, which capped off their road sweep of the weekend series. That would be impressive enough in its own right, considering that Auburn (32-9 overall and 14-9 in conference heading into this game) was highly-ranked (#4 by Baseball America, #5 by and that Alabama (17-29 overall, 4-19 in conference before Sunday) was outside all major top 25 rankings. However, it’s the way that happened that was really crazy, especially when it came to one particular blown call.

The weirdness started in the seventh inning, which Auburn entered leading 4-3. The Tide started the top of the seventh with a Walker McCleney walk and Chandler Avant reaching base on a fielding error by first baseman Dylan Ingram. An Alex Webb sacrifice bunt put the runners at second and third with one out, and then things got weird. Pitcher Andrew Mitchell threw a pitch to Cobie Vance that bounced before the plate; Vance then hit it and popped it up towards Ingram, who caught it in the air and then threw to third for what should have been the third out, as McCleney had already dashed home. However, the umpires ruled that Vance’s hit went off the ground before Ingram caught it, nullifying not only the double play, but meaning no outs at all were recorded there. That ruling isn’t actually what happened, as you can see from this replay:

The SEC comment on that, as relayed by’s James Crepea (who also produced the Clippit above) was that the play couldn’t have been reviewed because of where it came:

An SEC spokesman explained the call was not reviewable because it “can only be reviewed if the change would (change a) no catch to catch and the (play was the) third out of an inning.” Because the catch by Ingram would have been the second out of the inning, it was not reviewable, even though it led to the would-be third out.

So, instead of the inning ending, Alabama scored the tying run, and they then took a 5-4 lead when Hunter Alexander reached on an error (following a Chandler Taylor striker). However, Auburn then got a break of their own in the bottom of the seventh, as Alabama was slightly too slow on a double play, and while they were arguing the would-be inning ending call, Josh Anthony scored the tying run. That meant the game was knotted at five, where it would stay until extra innings.

Extra innings saw plenty of further craziness. Both teams scored a run in the 10th, and then did so again in the 11th, making it 7-7. The 12th was quiet, but Alabama scored two runs in the top of the 13th, and Auburn matched them in the bottom of that inning. In the 15th, though, the Crimson Tide were able to plate two more runs, and the Tigers weren’t able to follow suit, eventually losing 11-9. That’s a tough break for them, especially considering how they were hurt by that poor call nullifying their seventh-inning double play, but they did get some breaks too, such as that bottom-of-the-seventh run while Alabama’s players were arguing a call. In the end, there was lots of weirdness on both sides, and 4-19 in SEC play Alabama knocking off 14-8 #4 Auburn was downright predictable compared to everything else that happened.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.