Playoff game called after official has row with Norsemen bench
A 5-0 victory would have been a sweeter win for East York if seven innings were played.
Hitting the diamond against the North Toronto Norsemen in South Region Tier 1 quarterfinals, EY’s varsity baseball team saw their bout brought to an abrupt end in the top of the fourth.
North Toronto’s Keenan Crawford was thrown out attempting to steal second base. Due to there being only one umpire — he made the call from behind the plate — North Toronto’s bench started chirping.
One player asked if the umpire needed his glasses. Repeating the query three times resulted in him being tossed from the game.
A few heartbeats later, the umpire declared the game over, shouted an obscenity and proceeded to leave the diamond.
Nick Collett, who was pitching for the Goliaths in the fourth was let down by the event.
“The umpire should have stayed the whole game,” he said. “There was nothing too offensive the other kid said.”
Earlier, the base umpire vanished. In the inning previous to the debacle the plate umpire said his partner was hit with a ball in the head during the break between innings and experienced dizziness.
Still, the bizarre turn of events stole the thunder from the Goliaths berth into the semi-finals, which will be against Leaside.
East York’s rookie third base coach Jake Gallo set aside the series of events only saying a warning would have been nice.
“Maybe (the umpire) was frustrated with some chirps that were going on earlier but I don’t think he should just throw a game away because after one kid’s one comment,” he said.
However, Leaside was atop Gallo’s mind. He pulled no squeeze plays with his words when explaining how East York got so far.
“We have really solid pitching,” he said. “Our defence is what sets us apart from anyone else in this league.
“If we get a few guys on we’ll cause some havoc on the basepaths and get some runs.”
Collett was a pillar on the mound, pitching all four innings, allowing no runs, two hits, struck out seven and walked only one. His catcher, Austin McGregor, threw out three runners, including the aforementioned Crawford.
Collett was at ease as he walked off the field after a lengthy powwow with coaches.
“I just focused on throwing the ball hard,” he said, “We had a good defence and I have to credit Mr. Gallo.”
North Toronto coach Lorne Smith said he was livid with how the game ended, a low compared to earlier in the day when the Norsemen eliminated Danforth 10-4.
“That was our season in a microcosm. It was hard to know it was going to be such a hard year,” he said. “We had a minimum amount of practices because of the weather.”
Though it was a different starting line-up every game, Smith shared optimism. Only three players will be graduating: Greg Gott, Spencer Cook and Crawford.
Those who shared in the prime nine this season are battle ready for next year.
“We’ve got some kids in grade 9 who are pretty good,” he said, showing a hint of elation in the wake of defeat.