Mounting a comeback for the ages, Maryland baseball was eliminated last night thanks in a large part to the infamous “Trea Turner Rule”.
No sports fan likes to see a game decided/affected by a bad call, especially in the playoffs, but that’s exactly what happened in last night’s regional final between #15 Maryland and Connecticut.
With one out, a runner on third, and down 10-8, Maryland’s Chris Alleyne hit a comebacker to the pitcher who fielded the ball and threw it to first. Alleyne hustled down the first baseline and ended up colliding with the first baseman. The throw was off target, Alleyne was safe, and Maryland had cut the lead to one and had all the momentum.
Unfortunately, the umpires disagreed. Alleyne was called out for interference because he started on the outside of the basepaths and came across as he barreled towards first. Maryland challenged the call, but the ruling was upheld. To make matters worse, the runner who scored was forced to go back to third.
The next batter was unable to drive in the run and Maryland had lost all of its momentum. Uconn went on to tap on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, before retiring the side in the ninth to clinch their spot in the Super Regionals.
While the call didn’t cost Maryland the game, it completely changed the situation and played a major part in their comeback coming up short. For Nationals fans, the runner’s interference call was eerily similar to when Trea Turner was called out for the same ruling in Game 6 of the 2019 World Series.
For those that have blocked the play from memory, Trea Turner came up to bat with a runner on first, no outs, and the Nats holding onto a one-run lead of an elimination game. The speedster hit a dribbler to the pitcher who fielded it and threw to first, but the ball got away. Instead of having runners on second and third with no out, the umpires ruled that Turner interfered with the first baseman’s ability to make the play because he was inside the lane.
After what felt like an eternity, the call was upheld despite the Nationals’ pleas and shouts. Thankfully for Washington, the ball doesn’t lie. Two pitches later, Anthony Rendon hit a two-run moonshot to make sure as the Nats went on to force Game 7 and eventually win the World Series.
Sadly for Maryland, Anthony Rendon isn’t on their team as they were unable to keep their season alive.