Just when you think you have seen everything in the game of baseball, something happens that makes you shake your head and say WOW!!.
Such was the case on Thursday night at LeLacheur Park, where the Lowell Spinners and the Tri-City Valleycats were wrapping up a three game series. The Valleycats would take the rubber game of the set 8-5, but that’s not the story here.
What is the story is the lineup that was handed in by Tri-City Manager Morgan Ensberg. It would be the subject of much debate on the field and in the press box.
It appears that Ensberg handed in the wrong lineup to the umpires and Spinners Manager Iggy Suarez. In fact, it could be said that the Valleycats may have used three different lineups as this game was being played.
For his part, Suarez said that he noticed the possible different lineups before the first pitch was thrown. He waited until the fifth inning to asked the home plate umpire about this. Suarez states that both he and the umpire behind the dish had the same card with the mistakes on it.
Whether Suarez made a mistake himself in waiting too long to bring this to the attention of the men in blue is a subject for another day. He would get tossed from the game in that inning for arguing a call at second base, as he said later things just boiled over.
The Spinners had a 1-0 lead through three thanks to a home run by Marino Campana that extended his hit streak to 13 games, a stretch his manager calls sneaky.
In the top of the fourth is where all the problems surfaced. From an on looker point of view, it appears that the Valleycats batted out of order four times in the inning, and would score four runs to take a 4-1 lead.
The Spinners tried to climb the mountain to get back into the game and would get to within a run on a couple of different occasions. But Tri-City had an answer every time.
Meanwhile, as the game was being played out, Spinners General Manager Shawn Smith was making and writing a formal protest of this game to the league office. He would say afterward that the team is protesting from the top of the 5th with the score 4-1 Valleycats.
What happens with this is anyone’s guess. The Spinners appear to have a good case. The two teams do meet again in Troy, NY later this month. If the protest is upheld, then maybe this game could be resumed there.
In any case, for now, it a tough loss for the Spinners, who are trying to make up ground in their division. Winning series is what it’s about right now.
Lowell will try and put this behind them as they welcome Auburn to town for a weekend series beginning Friday night.
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