A New York high school baseball team lost the Section V Class B1 championship game while celebrating what they thought was the last strike they needed to win it all. A video, which has gone viral, shows the exact moment of confusion that cost Hornell the trophy.
On Saturday, Hornell was winning by one run and was just one strike away from beating Palmyra-Macedon to win the state title. Technically the pitcher pulled it off, because he threw a strike that was swung at and missed. However, the catcher didn't make a clean catch and failed to tag the batter or throw to first base.
The umpire signaled safe, and most of the team didn't seem aware that the play was still considered live. At first it looked like the catcher did have the intention to throw to first base, but he joined his cheerful teammates instead.
Palmyra-Macedon had runners on first and second base, and while Hornell was celebrating, they took advantage of the situation. Those two runs gave Palmyra-Macedon a 6-5 win.
A few Hornell players did notice what was going on, but they were not able to get their other teammates attention in time. The announcer initially also thought Hornell had won it, but he soon realized something bizarre was happening.
"Oh wait a minute. Hornell's got to pay attention," he said. "I'm not sure what's going on here. So, is this the way it's going to end? Wow."
What made it even more confusing for spectators is that both teams were wearing red. Once the damage had been done, Hornell coaches appeared confused, too, and went up to the umpire for answers, but it was too late. There's bad ways to lose games, but this is on a new level.
"I blame myself a little, maybe I could have gone out and argued it was a dead ball and kept the runner on third and said, 'Hey it's tied now, put the runner on third and make them beat us.' But we can't blame the umpires, everyone is running on the field and I'm not sure they knew how to handle it either," Hornell coach Joe Flint told the Hornell Sun and Wellsville Sun. "I'm not sure what else happened because I haven't watched the video. Maybe I should have called for a conference and protested. I blame myself on that piece of it, maybe I could have done a better job."