Tough call leads to Ravens loss

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Junior first baseman Dalton Davis seemed certain he had kept his foot on the bag. The Franklin Pierce infield seemed certain he had kept his foot on the bag. The Franklin Pierce dugout and head coach Mike Chambers seemed certain he had kept his foot on the bag. The one who was uncertain he had kept his foot on the bag was the one who mattered: base umpire James Dion, who observed the scene from the middle of the infield.

The call came: “safe.”

Davis reacted in visible astonishment. Senior second baseman Kyle Hood stood with his hands on his head in disbelief. Chambers came out to object. A discussion ensued, as Dion went to confer with the plate umpire, Michael Finn.

The call stood: “safe.” Replays would show it was incorrect.

It all added up to the beginning of a disaster for the Franklin Pierce University baseball team on Tuesday night at Penmen Field. One run scored on the call, which also allowed the inning to continue. The next batter cracked a two-run single as a 2-2 tie turned into a 5-2 lead for No. 5/8 nationally ranked Southern New Hampshire in a span of two batters. It was all downhill from there for the Ravens, who also surrendered one in the sixth and two in the seventh to fall, 8-2, on the road in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division play.

With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 22-11 (12-5 NE10, 8-3 NE Div.), while SNHU improves to 26-7 (12-2 NE10, 7-1 NE Div.). The win, combined with a 1-0 triumph at Franklin Pierce on April 5, allowed SNHU to claim the three-game season series between the two teams, who will meet again on May 2 at SNHU.

Making his longest start of the year thus far, junior right-hander Mike Lundin took the ball on Tuesday for Franklin Pierce and threw 81 pitches, but just 49 strikes, over five innings of work. He was charged with five runs on five hits, walked one, hit two batters and struck out five while taking the loss (2-2).

The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, April 22, when they return home to host Stonehill in an NE10 Northeast Division doubleheader. First pitch is set for noon at Pappas Field in Rindge.