Here’s how I described Tuesday’s controversial call in Northview’s 5-4 win over South Torrance. The new video that surfaced seems to show that the South Torrance runner may have touched home. In Tuesday’s story I wrote: South Torrance was still trying to understand a controversial call moments earlier that took its go-ahead run away.
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the seventh, South Torrance loaded the bases with one out. Kyle Henmi doubled in the gap to score the tying runs with the go-ahead runner, Josh Rotuna, rounding third and colliding with Vikings catcher Gabe Rojo in a play at the plate. The umpire ruled Rotuna out, then after noticing that Rojo dropped the ball, ruled him safe, giving South Torrance a 5-4 lead. Northview appealed, arguing the runner never touched home and the umpire agreed, ruling the runner out at home, tying the score 4-4.
“The (umpire) called him out, then safe, then they rule he never touched the plate, a little confusing, “South coach Grady Sain said. “He (runner) wasn’t ruled out until after the play was dead and then they appealed.
“It’s one of those things where it could have gone either way and unfortunately it went their way.” Northview will advance to the quarterfinals to face Oaks Christian. Vikings coach Darren Murphy said he had a clear view of the play at home.
“It (the call) was a huge momentum changer but at the end of the day coaches always want the right call and that was the right call,” Murphy said. “He never touched home plate. Rojo’s tag knocked him off his feet and he was never within two or three feet of the plate.” This was obviously much closer than two or three feet. It appears Rotuna’s foot did swipe home. In any case, tough for any of the umpires to know for sure, so surprised the call was changed on appeal. If I had to make the call based on the video, I’d rule him safe.