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Watch: Bizarre Strike 3 Call Ends Game, Sparks Major Controversy

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While Major League Baseball discusses several new rules that would dramatically change the way the game is played, college baseball has implemented a new rule that made a big difference in one recent game.

When the University of Texas played UT Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday, a new rule regarding hit-by-pitches affected the outcome — and many are outraged about it.

Texas had a 4-3 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. All the Longhorns needed was one out to win, while Rio Grand Valley was just looking to get someone on base.

Then this happened:

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Left fielder Elijah Alexander was hit by a pitch on the knee, and the last 100-plus years of baseball have told us that he should be awarded first base.

But as Alexander was going to first, he whipped around when he learned the home plate umpire called the pitch a strike, and thus an out to end the game.

That apparent hit-by-pitch was deemed a strike thanks to a new NCAA baseball rule — 8.2d.1 — under which the batter must “avoid being hit whenever possible.”

The ump ruled that Alexander didn’t make enough of an effort to get out of the way of the pitch. Thus, the event was officially ruled a swinging strike — game over.

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While the call was correct by the letter of the law, perhaps the law needs to be changed.

It would be one thing if Alexander were leaning over the plate and that pitch was in the strike zone, but he had already started his swinging motion, which left his back leg vulnerable but still not close to the strike zone.

Many cried foul over the ruling.

The win pushed Texas to an 11-3 record, and the Longhorns are riding a four-game winning streak ahead of their weekend series at Stanford.

They are the No. 12 team in the country and are looking to get back to the College World Series after being the second team eliminated in last year’s CWS.

The Vaqueros dropped to 9-4 on the year.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
Location
Houston, Texas
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