BY JIM MISUNAS
WICHITA — The Great Bend Bat Cats were rallying against the San Diego Stars when Daunte Freeman advanced to first base on an apparent hit-by-pitch.
Not so fast my friend.
Thanks to a bizarre rule, home plate umpire Robert Dickinson called Freeman out on a 3-2 hit-by-pitch that would’ve loaded the bases in a 2-1 game.
The rule states: ”To penalize the batter with a strike and not award first base if, in the judgment of the umpire, the batter makes an intentional movement to be hit-by-a-pitch, regardless of where the pitch is located.”
Sunflower Collegiate All-Star Freeman was ejected by Dickinson after his controversial out.
The rally ended when reliever Bailey Robertson struck out Dawson Pomeroy on a checked swing. Cade Gonzales singled to start the seventh inning, but was picked off first base. Clay Lockett walked and Ryan Monson singled.
Great Bend Bat Cat coach Roger Ward said Freeman’s ejection came after a missed call.
“Daunte was in the box when he got hit,” Ward said. “He was clearly in the box and it was ball four.”
In the next half inning, Pomeroy was ejected after he was called out on his checked swing.
The San Diego Stars rode the late-game momentum for a 6-1 victory over the Bat Cats in Wednesday's NBC World Series bracket play.
The Stars scored three ninth-inning insurance runs when Tristen Salinas and Joey Krog delivered RBI singles. Kyle Pineda scored on an error.
The Bat Cats (27-19) finish with a 4-4 World Series record. The Bat Cats were outscored 18-3 in their final three games.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” said Ward. “It’s disappointing. We had a lot of firsts for our program. We’re trying to move forward. Hopefully, we can keep that momentum.”
Bat Cat starter Zach Curry walked five batters to gift wrap two runs for the Stars. Salinas and Dallas Seidel scored on the walks for a 2-0 lead after five innings.
The Bat Cats squeezed out a sixth-inning run when Brady Michel scored on Nolan Riley’s groundout. Michel walked and stole second base on a pickoff attempt.
Bat Cat reliever Jacob Ensz preserved a 2-1 score by retiring Mario Morales on a two-out groundout to second baseman Clay Lockett.
The Bat Cats wasted Ryan Monson’s first-inning triple when Freeman, one of the Bat Cat’s hottest hitters, bunted to pitcher Jake Sergent and Pomeroy struck out.
Sergent stranded Chandler Bloomer after a second-inning double by retiring Nolan Riley and Chase Gibson. Pomeroy was retired in the third inning to leave Monson and Freeman stranded on the bases. The script of missed opportunities was replayed when Pomeroy’s hit a pop out to left field to strand Monson and Freeman after a perfect fifth-inning hit-and-run.
Curry retired Krog in the third inning to strand Pineda at second base. But he suddenly lost his location when he walked Salinas, Seidel, Krog, Jesse Jenner and Brady Joslyn to force home two runs without a swing of the bat.
San Diego Stars 000 020 013 — 6 10 2
GB Bat Cats 000 001 000 — 1 7 4
Sergent, Robertson (6), Quintana (8) and Joslyn. Curry, Ensz (5), Bell (8), Howe (8) and Bloomer. W—Sergent. L—Curry, 4-1. 2B—GB—Bloomer; SD—Van Til. 3B—GB—Munson.
WEDNESDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
Derby Twins 7, Haysville Aviators 6
Kansas Cannons 9, San Diego Waves 1
Seattle Studs 15, Colorado Cyclones 0
San Diego Stars 6, Great Bend Bat Cats 1
Kansas Cannons 6, Lonestar Baseball 2
Cheney Diamond Dawgs 4, Derby Twins 2, 10 innings
Seattle Studs 5, Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters 0
San Diego Stars 6, Fairbanks Goldpanners 1
Cheney Diamond Dawgs 13, Kansas Cannons 3
Seattle Studs 9, San Diego Stars 4
Seattle Studs 5, Cheney Diamond Dawgs 4