Umpire Ends College Summer League Game on Hilariously Obvious Dropped Fly Ball

The Northwoods League played 12 games on on Memorial Day, which also served as the collegiate summer baseball league's opening day. With that much action something weird was bound to happen and sure enough it did at the end of the Eau Claire Express' 5-3 win over the Madison Mallards.

The Express entered the ninth with a 5-1 lead and Gavyn Bowen, who just finished his freshman season at State College of Florida Manatee - Sarasota, retired the first two batters before the Mallards put two on the board. Down two with a runner on first Ohio's Caleb Karll hit the a long pop fly to center field and where it was dropped by Western Kentucky's Dylan O'Connell. Then a funny thing happened as O'Connell looked crushed and Karll hustled to second base... the umpire called him out.

And just like that, the game was over. It didn't matter that the ball was dropped because the first base umpire called him out and apparently none of the other umpires working the game were paying attention?

Some people might say that this is evidence that this amateur summer baseball league in Big Ten country needs instant replay or robot umpires or microchipped baseballs that confirm whether or not a ball was "caught," but those people are missing the point.

The human element rules. You need the Angel Hernandez's of the world to keep things interesting. Sometimes umps miss a close play. Or they don't see a player dropping the final out of the game and then hanging his head in shame after he picks the ball up off the ground and throws it in while everyone continues playing. These kinds of things happen and they're kind of awesome.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.