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Late home run pushes Versailles past WL-Salem 4-3

TIPP CITY — Home run or foul ball? That was the lingering question for West Liberty-Salem’s baseball team and its fans following a 4-3 loss to Versailles here Wednesday.

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West Liberty-Salem’s Spencer Whitcraft throws to first base during Wednesday’s Division III sectional tournament game against Versailles. (PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

After WL-Salem scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the score 3-3, Versailles’ Mike Davidson led off the bottom of the sixth with a blast to left that tailed hard toward the foul pole down the third-base line.

The ball landed well to the left of the pole, but the home plate umpire ruled that it hooked around the pole instead of in front of it, resulting in a home run.

Second-seeded Versailles then worked around a WL-Salem threat in the top of the seventh to squeeze out the one-run victory in a Division III sectional final.

“Obviously, my perspective would be different from their coach’s and the umpire’s,” said WL-S head coach Toby Smith of the controversial home run. “It looked foul to me, but we would have still had to score a run to win the game. And there are no guarantees that they would not have scored in the bottom of the seventh.”

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