Baseball: Disputed call hurts Oak Harbor in loss to Snohomish

A disputed call killed an Oak Harbor rally and the Wildcats dropped their conference baseball opener 5-3 at Snohomish Tuesday, March 23.

The Panthers built a 5-2 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning. Oak Harbor started the inning with back-to-back singles by Yale Rosen and Pat Higbee. Wade Burns moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt.

A walk to pinch-hitter Sam Wolfe loaded the bases; Peter Franssen ran for Wolfe.

Jay Stout then drove a high fly to deep center field. The Panther's Tyler Tastad made the catch as he was falling against the fence. All three runs tagged up. Rosen scored from third and Higbee all the way from second on the sacrifice fly.

Snohomish appealed that Higbee left early and the umpire agreed. Oak Harbor coach Tyson VanDam didn't and said, "The umpire was too busy watching the kid fall down and the catch; there is no way he had Pat in his vision, besides he didn't leave early."

The double-play ended the inning and took a run off the board. Oak Harbor also had the tying run in scoring position because Franssen took second on the play.

Snohomish took a three-run lead in the third inning; VanDam was pleased with how his kids fought back: "We didn't panic."

The Wildcats picked up two runs in the fourth. Brad Farnum reached second on a two-base error on a dropped fly ball. Higbee entered has the Wildcat catcher's courtesy runner. Kian Mebane's line single scored Higbee; Mebane eventually scored on an error.

Although the Wildcats lost, VanDam was pleased with the overall effort: "We played awesome...(pitchers) Jay (Stout) and Josh (Evans) located early and often, and we played as a team, just came up short."

Oak Harbor out hit the Panthers six to five. Rosen was the only Wildcat with multiple hits, going two-for-three for the day.

Starting pitcher Stout took the loss, giving up five runs (four earned) and five hits over four innings. He struck out four and walked three. Evans pitched hitless ball over the final two innings and struck out one.

Oak Harbor (3-2) and Snohomish (3-1) meet again Thursday, March 25, at 4 p.m. in Oak Harbor.

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