History was made between Coastal Carolina and Florida as officials used instant replay for the first time in a College World Series game.
During the top of the third inning, Coastal Carolina third baseman Zach Remillard hit a pitch toward the right field corner and it landed close to the baseline, resulting in a foul ball call.
The umpires huddled up to discuss the play and decided to look at the instant replay, the first time the technology has been used in Omaha.
“Once the officials decide they wanted to have the play review and it is determined if it is a type of play that is reviewable, the crew chief and whoever the crew chief designated obtain the headset from the person in charge of game management from the NCAA’s perspective," said Randy L. Buhr, Director of NCAA Championships and Alliances. "They communicated into a centralized replay location here within TD Ameritrade Park Omaha with members of the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program Staff who services the instant replay officials."
Officials reversed the call and deemed Remillard's double to be fair, which allowed Anthony Marks to score and give the Chanticleers a 1-0 lead. The replay took four minutes and six seconds to complete, which was clocked from the time the umpire puts on the headset until a final ruling is signaled.
“This call was one that was a reviewable play because it was deciding if a batted ball was fair or foul and that ball first needed to touch the ground beyond the first baseman in this situation, which it did," Buhr said. "So once they determined it was a reviewable play, it was my understanding the call on the field was a foul ball. So after further review and looking at the angles that were made available to them, the instant replay officials then made the determination to overturn the call and essentially make it a ground-rule double, put the batter runner at second base and then the other two runners I believe were at first and second at the time. So they had to determine where to place the runners. Based on that analysis, they determined the runner on second could score and the runner on first was able to go to third base.”
Replay review has been available in the Men's College World Series since the 2012 season but had not been used until now. The 2015 Super Regional between Louisville and Cal State Fullerton marked the first time umpires used video replay during the college baseball postseason.
“This is the first time we’ve used instant replay in the NCAA Men’s College World Series since it’s been available. At the end of the day, the goal is to get the call right on the field. ... The instant replay officials made the call that they felt was the right one to be fair to both teams involved," Buhr said.
The instant replay experimental rule limits reviewable plays to:
1. Deciding if a batted ball is fair or foul (must first touch the ground beyond the first or third baseman)
2. Deciding if a batted ball is either a ground-rule double or a home run
3. Catch or no catch in the outfield or foul territory. Not in the infield unless it results in a third out; or a catch at any time with a batter only
4. Spectator-interference, only if it affects items 1, 2 or 3 above