NCAA tournament umpire pushes East Carolina batter out of box as he admires home run

·2 min read

Baseball's unwritten rules tend to be enforced by opposing teams.

Every once in a while, an umpire gets involved.

Case in point: Monday's Greenville Regional NCAA tournament game. With a spot against Texas in the Super Regionals at stake, East Carolina was piling on Coastal Carolina. As the Pirates held a 10-2 lead in the seventh inning, slugging outfielder Bryson Worrell stepped to the plate.

There, he delivered his team-best 18th home run of the season, plating three more runs to extend the ECU lead to 13-2 en route to a 13-4 win. As the moonshot carried over the right-field wall, Worrell took a moment to admire his work. This was a moment too long for the home-plate umpire, who stood up from his stance and pushed Worrell out of the box and on his way down the first-base line.

This wasn't a violent shove or even an egregious one. But it was an instance of umpire putting his hands on a player and doing so during the course of play.

Baseball's mired in a slog of a debate over decorum and concern over pitchers' feelings at the expense of boasting batters who get the best of them. This umpire clearly has an opinion on topic.

Meanwhile, his job is to make calls on the field and maintain order during the game. His opinion on bat flips or boasting of any kind during the course of those duties does not matter. It certainly doesn't warrant touching a player, even as said player is admiring a home run in the middle of a blowout.

The quickest route to a player ejection is to put his hand on an ump. The rules in this instance clearly don't apply both ways.

East Carolina's Bryson Worrell (35) runs the bases during an NCAA baseball game on Friday June 3, 2022, in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
East Carolina's Bryson Worrell. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
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