Player never touches home plate, team loses states
Touch home plate. that’s all the Southington Blue Knights’ Matt Spruill needed to do to capture a state title for his team. Unfortunately, he decided to celebrate prematurely with his teammates, and never plated himself.
“To be honest I saw him come around third base and I was waving him home,” coach Charles Lembo said.
“And I made sure he touched third, and then I was looking at Sal at second to make sure he didn’t keep coming because I didn’t want him out before the run scored. So I never saw what happened at the plate.”
Lembo said it was the Newington crowd that made him realize the run didn’t count.
“We were kind of celebrating and we thought we had it won and all of a sudden I heard the crowd react and I went ‘woah wait a minute that’s not our side,’” he said. “And Dave [Bindas] told me that he missed home.”
‘I hate to say it but it was kind of bittersweet,” catcher Tyler Barrett said. “I was happy to get the out because it gave us another chance to win the ball game. It’s about time we handed it to them. They have a great program but we were due. We gave it to Amity good and we gave it to them good.”
Cannot imagine what it must be like for Spruill right now. He would have been the winning run in Connecticut State Championship game, instead he will be remembered in that game for the biggest mental error. Spruill was on first base and represented the winning run in the bottom of the eighth when teammate Sal Romano hit a double down the left field line. Spruill would have scored easily, and many thought he did as the Blue Knights celebrated in a huge pile at second base. Spruill was in on the dog pile, but he never crossed home plate, as he jumped into awaiting players NEAR home plate prior to mobbing Romano. Newington’s catcher, Tyler Barrett appealed the play by standing on home plate and showing the ball to the umpire. Spruill was called out. This of course gave new life to Newington, and they would win the game and the state title in 10 innings.