PACIFICS FALL ON CONTROVERSIAL HR CALL

Beatty Ejected After Critical Umpire Decision Gives Pittsburg 7-5 Win 

In this critical game with first place up for grabs, the Pacifics gamely fought back against Pittsburg in the late innings but a controversial, game-deciding home run call by the umpiring crew in the 8th inning led to a bench clearing near brawl between players and umpires. 

Pacifics ace Max Beatty (9-3, 3.96 ERA) took the hill for the Pacifics in a high-pressure, must-win game to get his team back on track following last week’s rough 4 losses and after already dropping the first game of this week at home to the 4th place Diamonds. 

Beatty looked like his dominating self early on but lost command in the middle innings and his cool in the late innings. 

The Pacifics offense gave Beatty a slim lead to work with in the bottom of the 1st. With 2 outs, Javion Randle extended his on-base streak to 45 games with a looping double down the right field line. Brent Gillespie followed by once again beating the shift, slicing a 0-1 fastball into the left field corner to score Randle. 

Holding this razor-thin lead through the first 3 innings, Beatty finally bent in the top of the 4th. After 2 outs, Ryan Lashley and Rafael Valera delivered back-to-back singles. Chris Kwitzer then hooked a shift-beater down the left field line for a 2-RBI double. Zack Rapacz then singled to center but the usually sure-handed DonAndre Clark misplayed the ball, allowing it to roll all the way to the wall.  Rapacz circled the bases on the error, extending the Pittsburg lead to 4-1. 

In response, on the first pitch in the bottom of the inning, Zach Files hit an opposite field homer, his 11th of the year, sparking the hopes of a comeback. Ricky Gingras hit a 1-out double off the left field wall and was driven in by Clark, cutting the lead to 4-3. 

But Beatty labored again in the 5th.  Gabriel Bracamonte doubled down the right field line with 2 outs and Joel Carranza followed with a base hit to right.  Corey Dempster delivered a perfect 1-hop throw home but Gingras couldn’t hang on as Bracamonte scored to make it 5-3. 

Corey Macdonald (4-6, 6.54 ERA) was lifted after 6 innings of work for submarine right hander Tyler Stirewalt (1-1, 4.90 ERA).

Considering the gravity of each game as the season winds down, the Pacifics gamely fought back once again. In the bottom of the 7th inning, Randle beat out an infield single and Dempster singled to center to put the go-ahead run at the plate. Files delivered once again, this time with a rattling double down into the left field corner scoring both Randle and Dempster, tying the game 5-5.

No sooner had the game been tied, a critical error proved to be, in part, the Pacifics undoing. Lashley reached on an error by Moreno at short, one of the sure-handed shortstop’s two misplays in the inning. 

This is where the tense, back-and-forth affair spiraled out of control. 

Valera followed the error with a gapper to left center.  Both Clark and Randle immediately threw up their hands to signal that the ball bounced over the fence for a ground rule double, but from a distance of over 350 feet and with less than ideal lighting home plate umpire Dean Poteet and base umpire Danny Speck decided to ignore the outfielders’ signals and call it a homerun. 

Beatty and Pacifics Manager Matt Kavanaugh, and for that matter the entire Pacifics team, were apoplectic, arguing vociferously that the ball bounced before going out but the umps were unbending and the call stood. The 2-run shot put Pittsburg up 7-5. 

After order was restored, Beatty’s next pitch was called a ball. This was all the seething Beatty could stand. Voicing his frustration with Poteet, Beatty was tossed from the game and all hell broke loose. 

Beatty threw the ball toward home plate, missing Poteet but causing the two to go toe-to-toe and start shoving. Beatty was escorted to the dugout by his teammates and Poteet was held back by Speck and Pittsburg Manager Aaron Miles while still jawing with a visibly upset Kavanaugh.

“Look, I have a lot of respect for Dean,” said a dejected Kavanaugh after the game.  “In my opinion, he and Speck blew the call.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen umps not accept it when outfielders signal the ball bounced over the fence.  Who had a better view?  I guess that doesn’t excuse what happened, but it explains it.  This was a very tough way for us to take a loss.” 

The remainder of the game was anticlimactic as the depleted Pacifics failed to score in the 8th and 9th, dropping their second in a row to Pittsburg. 

The Pacifics are now 39-21 and sit 2 games behind Sonoma, who once again earned a walk-off victory to extend their lead to 2 games. 

The Stompers come to Albert Park tonight and Friday night for 7:05 games with first place in the balance.

Come out to Albert Park tonight for “Best of Marin Night,” sponsored by Rocky’s Quality Meats. Special “Marin French Sausage Sandwich" on Bordanave’s Sourdough, courtesy of Rocky’s Quality Meats, will be served at Jane's First Base Café. The evening will feature King Pericles of the Marin Shakespeare Company delivering the ceremonial first pitch.  A "Marin Voice" singing competition will be held between the first third innings with local singers competing for the first annual award, and the Marin Musical Theater Company will perform. Marin Wildlife will also be at Albert Park showing off a tortoise and snake in the Satchel Paige 3rd Base Plaza!

Following tonight’s contest, the Pacifics will be making history with the first ever “Oysters & Baseball Festival”, presented by the Hog Island Oyster Company! On this special night, the Pacifics will be renamed as the Oysters.  Visit PacificsBaseball.com to purchase a special ticket package including a general admission ticket, a 6 oyster sampler, a glass of Van Ruiten sparkling rose, and an Oysters jersey - the exact same one that the Pacifics will be playing in! Oysters, sparkling rosé, and jerseys will also be available for ala carte sale at the game. 

Tickets can be purchased at pacificsbaseball.com