The plate umpire who made an egregious third strike call to end a game between New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State on Friday night has been suspended indefinitely, the Southland Conference announced.
Mississippi Valley State left fielder Davon Mims was up with a 1-1 count with two outs in the ninth inning when plate umpire Reggie Drummer called two straight strikes on pitches outside the batter's box, the former of which appeared to cross the plate below Mims' knees -- low enough that UNO catcher Jorge Tejeda caught it just above the dirt behind the plate.
Mims hopped out of the batter's box in protest and was subsequently called out on strikes on the next pitch, which broke low and away, well off the plate.
"Oh, my gosh! Wow! He got rung up on ball two!" UNO radio play-by-play announcer Emmanuel Pepis exclaimed during the broadcast. "That is horrific! ... Drummer just wanted to go home."
The game ended with New Orleans winning 7-3 and an enraged Mims trying to confront Drummer, who ignored him as he walked off the field.
"After a thorough review of the New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State baseball contest on March 10, 2023, the Southland Conference confirmed the home plate umpire's conduct and actions were deemed detrimental to the Conference and in violation of Section 3 Character and Conduct of the CCA Mechanics Manual for Baseball," the conference said in a statement Saturday.
Section 3 states, in part, that "umpires are expected to exhibit and uphold the standards of integrity of the umpiring profession" and that "umpires shall bear a great responsibility for engendering public confidence in sports."
A replacement umpire was assigned Saturday to the weekend series' second game, which New Orleans won 35-3, surpassing the Privateers' previous record of 32 runs in a game against Northern Illinois in 1994. UNO hit eight home runs Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.