The plate umpire who called a third strike to end Friday night’s game between New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State has been suspended indefinitely, the Southland Conference announced.
Mississippi Valley State left fielder Davon Mims was trailing 1-1 with two outs in the ninth inning when plate umpire Reggie Drummer gave two straight hits to pitches outside the castle, the first of which appeared to cross the plate under Mims. knee — low enough — that UNO catcher Jorge Tejeda caught it in the dirt behind the plate.
Mims jumped out of the batter’s box in protest and was subsequently called for a strike on the next pitch, which broke low and away, well off the plate.
“Oh my gosh! Wow! He called the second ball!” UNO Radio announcer Emmanuel Pepys shouted during the broadcast. “It’s horrible!” … The drummer wanted to go home.”
The game ended with New Orleans winning 7-3, and an angry Mims tried to confront the drummer, who ignored him as he walked off the field.
“After a thorough review of the March 10, 2023 New Orleans-Mississippi Valley State baseball contest, the Southland Conference has determined that the conduct and actions of the home plate umpire are prejudicial to the Conference and violate the character and order of CCA Section 3. The Mechanics Guide to Baseball,” the conference said in a statement Saturday.
Section 3 states, in part, that “umpires are expected to demonstrate and uphold the integrity standards of the officiating profession” and that “umpires have a major responsibility to instill public confidence in sport.”
A replacement was named Saturday for the second game of the weekend series, which New Orleans won 35-3, surpassing the previous record by 32 runs set against Northern Illinois in 1994. UNO hit eight home runs Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.