There’s a reason that one of the most cliched sports adages in existence is, “It’s not over until it’s over.”
To set the stage: The New York Section V Class B1 championship baseball game took place on Saturday, featuring Hornell High School eking out an exhilarating win over Palmyra-Macedon.
But — wait. What’s that? A third “strike” somehow led to multiple runs being scored?
Yes, it appears that while darn near everybody (viewers, coaches, players, even the narrator of the below video) thought that a third strike had ended the game in favor of Hornell, an absolutely wild sequence of events ultimately led to a 6-5 win for Palmyra-Macedon.
You can watch the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in the below clip:
Championship ends with two runs scoring on a dropped strike three while the other team is celebrating thinking they won.
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 28, 2023
After what appeared to many as a third strike being called, Hornell players and coaches, understandably, thought the game was over and began celebrating.
Palmyra-Macedon players and coaches, however, appeared to notice that the Hornell catcher didn’t cleanly catch that third strike.
In that event, the ball is effectively still in play, but is typically an easy out to first.
Had the Hornell catcher thrown to first base as he appeared to initially want to do, this story would, respectfully, probably not even be written.
Instead, however, the Hornell catcher simply let the baseball fall to the ground as he began celebrating with his teammates.
Much to the chagrin of Hornell and its students, that was still a live baseball.
So as Palmyra-Macedon players began rounding the bases, it all counted.
It is, without mincing words, one of the most agonizingly brutal ways to lose a baseball game.
But there are a few noteworthy tidbits that could go to explaining this situation beyond “Hornell should learn the rulebook better.”
First, as you’ve surely noticed, both Hornell and Palmyra-Macedon have red jerseys. That’s less than ideal. Now, these are New York state high schools and not multi-billion dollar MLB franchises, so perhaps those were the only jerseys available.
But it’s undeniable that it’s a tad confusing watching two teams whose most notable aesthetic difference is the slightly different hue of beige/gray their respective pants are.
Secondly, and perhaps most notably, there appeared to be moment where the Hornell catcher locks eyes with the umpire as the batter is running to first.
You can clearly see the Hornell catcher flash a finger to point to the Palmyra-Macedon batter running to first, as if to ask if he needed to throw him out officially.
The ump appears to wave that off, and that’s when the catcher gives up on tracking the live ball.
Regardless of that additional context, the final results are in the record books, and it doesn’t appear that they’ll be changing anytime soon.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.