Controversial Call Costs Florida Memorial Walk-off Loss in SUN Conference Tournament

For the second day in the Sun Conference Tournament Florida Memorial pitching was lights out. But a blown call and not getting help from fellow umpiring crew members to level the playing field help led to a walk-off win for Webber International in the Lions second game in the SUN Conference Tournament.

Lions pitcher Edgar Aparacio thwarted the Warriors bats for 8 innings as Webber starter Juan Terror, Doug Pearl, and Jesse Coleman combined to keep the contest close.

Florida Memorial open up the scoring in the first inning on back to back doubles by Christian Rivera and Sergio Chil scoring Rivera. Webber answered in the bottom of the 1st inning on three straight singles by Chris Medina, Marcus Begg, and Jesse Coleman, tying the score at 1-1.

The Lions added another run in the second-inning. Joquiel Perry singled to center, Argenis Hernandez reached base on a fielder’s choice before a double down the right field line off the bat of Pablo Delgado moved Hernandez to third base. Raymond Guerrero then flied out to the left fielder scoring Hernandez on the sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead.

A pitcher’s duel then ensued between FMU’s Aparacio and Webber’s Pearl who relieved started Terron as both teams could not scores runs over the next three and a half innings.  Both teams playing solid defensively.

The Warriors tied the game up 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning as Medina scored on a fielder’s choice after leading off the inning with a single up the middle. Florida Memorial responded in the top of the seventh on back to back singles by Chil and Jose Chavez before a Axel Gomez run scoring single plated Josuan Lopez, pinch running for Chil. Webber knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning as Coleman’s single drove in Medina who led off the inning with a single to right.

In the top of the ninth inning, Chavez led the inning off with a walk, Kyle Parks pinch ran for Chavez and DJ Brown’s sacrifice bunt to the catcher moved Brown to second base. Next batter, Gomez, lifted a fly ball to the left fielder for the second out in the inning. After the catch was made, Brown tagged up and slid safely into third base without a play and was called safe by the home plate umpire, who then called time out.

The second base umpire, who took the priority call to cover the out made in the outfield, was turned away from Brown tagging up at second base. Webber shortstop Christian Rivera immediately threw to Ovirino Esquivel covering second base. Brown who clearly tagged up was called out ending the inning.

The Lions head coach Florentino Burgos made an effort to get clarification on the call as the umpire sprinted behind second base to the outfield. Burgos challenge to get both umpires to together appeared to be denied.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, on Aparacio’s second pitch, Webber’s Langston Hughes hit a walk-off home run to left field for the 4-3 win. Aparacio, who had strong outing on the hill, suffered the loss.

After the game. Back College Nines caught up with Florida Memorial head coach Florentino Burgos. Listen to the interview.

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