The crowd, sensing an inning-ending double-play, began cheering wildly.
The ball flew toward first base, but hit a passing bat squarely, and both the bat and the ball fell to the ground some yards short of the bag. First baseman Johnny Whitacre blindly grabbed the first thing he could find and threw home, trying to get the runner.
The throw beat the runner, and the catcher applied the tag.
Alert umpire Chris Hume waved the baserunner safe. The other runner also scored on the play.
Catcher Pete Root, hopping mad, argued with the umpire until the umpire pointed to the dead bat in his glove. The ball was still a few feet from first base. Whitacre had thrown the bat instead of the ball.
Root must have said the magic words, because he was thrown out. His manager tried to argue the case that the ball was dead at the time it hit the bat, to no avail.
Round Rock had men on in both the eighth and ninth innings, but closer Abe Voormis killed both rallies via the K, mathematically eliminating Round Rock from playoff contention.
dead bat, two dead rallies. Averted twin killing:smile:
Originally created for a writing challenge in which I was the only participant, called Three Deaths.