Today had a men's wood bat league game - probably one of the best games I've ever done. Very good players - ex/current college players. R3, I'm in B. shot to right center gap. I watch BR touch and turn to find ball, which went to the fence. F8 retrieves and fires a strike to F6 to just gt BR. Wtf was it so close at 2d? I start hearing " He ran into the first baseman"! Rut-ro. I turn to PU. He was watching the touch of R3 at home, so he didn't see anything. Out stands with very minimal grumbling. I asked the F3 next inning and he confirms he brain locked and just stood there.
Lesson? Even at higher levels, never assume the players are going to do what they're supposed to. From now on I'll wait for the BR to clear F3 before looking for the ball. I'll still have time to find it, although I'll have less time to process something funky out there - ball stuck/under fence, quick really, etc.
What I also noticed, and probably contributed to my quick release of BR, was the pace of play. Lots of action and plays being made. Balls being hit HARD every inning. These are mostly D2/D3 players with a couple former A players mixed in. Makes me wonder how those lower minors umpires handle 2 man.
Frankly, I'm surprised the PU didn't see it. A quick glance to see R3 touch the plate shouldn't have taken that much time and focus. R3 probably jogged home, so it's possible that he touched home just as the BR ran into F3. But if the PU had stepped back to open up his view, he could've seen the the obstruction in his peripheral vision, IMHO.
That's exactly what happened. This was the 3d out of the inning. As soon as I heard the "he ran into him" I got with PU. He says "The f&cker on 3d was just taking his time coming home so I stayed with him"
It really was on me, though. With R3 only, I really have the time to follow BR past F3.