Royals hold on for win over Rebels

A quick start and a few nice catches in the later stage of the game was all the Armena Royls would need to win a third game in their last four.

After giving up a 7-run deficit last Thursday to Leduc, The Royals decided it was better to be on the other side of the ball. Red hot Zenan Sherbaniuk, 7-for-9 at the plate in the last two games got it all started with a double to left field. Six hits, three errors and some Armena bounces gave the Royals a 7-0 lead.

But the Rebels are a scrappy bunch. With Joel Boettger on the hill for Armena, the veteran righty struggled with control. He uncharacteristically walked five guys on the night, four of which accounted for Ryley Rebel runs.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
7 3 1 0 0 0 0 11 13 1
2 0 0 0 1 3 0 6 5 3

“I just couldn’t find the zone,” Boettger said after. “I don’t know what it was. The arm felt fine, just wasn’t hitting my spots.”

His defence would pull him out, including two nice grabs in centre field by Kyle Ellis. A three-run second followed by an additional one in the fourth spread the lead to 11-2 after four and a half. The Rebels elected to change pitchers early from young Blake Helgland to long-time PBLer Cory Epp.

And Epp got the job done, not giving up a run over the final four innings, and it opened the door for a possible comeback.

The game took a controversial turn in the bottom of the sixth, however, as Boettger began to tire and suddenly the Rebels had two across and were down just six with one out and Boettger running on fumes. He had already given up a solo shot to Craig Kaughan in the fifth and the Royals began the debate to pull their star pitcher for a reliever.

With the bases loaded, Boettger got a ground ball to shortstop Jason Buzzell who was distracted by Koughan running for second to third base in front of him. The umpires immediately called runner interference, in a play exactly the same as a game in Bardo in May when Landon Miller was called out on runner interference.

The Rebels went ballistic, and couldn’t regain their composure for a few minutes. There were now two outs and despite tacking on one more, a ground out fielder’s choice ended the threat and the game was never in question again.

Jason Buzzell came in to close out the final frame to keep Boettger’s arm fresh for possible action next week. The win puts the Royals ever so close to their first playoff berth since the Armena Axemen split, especially after a Bardo loss to Leduc Thursday night.

The two teams meet again in Ryley Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.

Posted in Armena Royals, Buzzilinear, Ryley Rebels
  • In no way should that interference call be made. Buzzel had plenty of time to make the play. A runner with a force out at third is not going to stop or deviat (extremely far if Peter Rodgers had his way) off the baseline to give the fielder time to make the play. He has to get to third to avoid the force out. It's absolutely ludicrous that this play was called against just the rebels when the same play happened in the first inning with armena on the offense. To be waiting to make that call against a certain team to show them that you control the game is embarrassing. It's embarrassing for baseball and the players, who are the ones playing the game not the ump. I've played ball my whole life and never saw or heard of that being called until last night and week ago in Holden. In fact I've been taught, along with others that I talked to, to run over the ball to give the fielder different look. If one ump that's never played the game is right over numerous guys that played the game their whole lives than I stand corrected. If you are umping leave the game for the players to play. We can think for ourselves!Koughan

  • The base ump made the call immediately.

  • Don't kid yourself that it wasn't peters voice in his ear. I've seen Len miss a blatant homerun and he's going to make calls like that? In that important spot in the game?

  • *edit*: the base ump made the WRONG call immediately

  • According to MLB rules the runner AND batter would be out thus ending the inning. Looks like the Rebels actually got a break not sure though since I didn't see what happened.

  • Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not.If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be called out unless, in the umpire’s judgment, such hindrance, whether it occurs on fair or foul territory, is intentional. If the umpire declares the hindrance intentional, the following penalty shall apply: With less than two out, the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter out. With two out, the umpire shall declare the batter out.

  • That sounds more like a contact rule.

  • If a runner has his head down and sprinting for his base and does not change speed or deviate from the baseline in front of the fielder during a force play I can't see interference being called even if the fielder is a screen for a second. I did not see the play in question but our last game against Armena had this happen on both sides in which the shortstop ended up missing the grounder. No call of interference was made and neither team yelled for interference to be called. Having runners in motion on an infield grounder will always make the play harder and it's part of the game, this does not make it interference. Once again I did not see the play but I have seen some umpires decide a few games over the years and it boils my blood. I would like to hear an honest opinion from an Armena player if they thought it was the right call.

  • My honest answer: For some reason as I charged into the baseline, I stopped to avoid the runner who was also trying to avoid me. I don't know what it looked like, but of course in my mind it prevented me from picking it up – albeit it was still a brutal play by me to stop for the runner and miss the ball completely. I don't know why I hesitated – I usually don't so maybe he was really close? He is a big guy who was running fast… hahaShould it have been called, not so sure. I really have no idea what the rule is now. Against Bardo we had it called on us on a similar play. Then in Ryley against Axemen Kris Johnson ran in front (not out of baseline) but none was called, which made me think the umpire just missed it. Although on that play I was not making a play on a ball in the baseline. Then last night I actually did stop to try and avoid the runner who was going hard on the force.I'm not going to lie, we benefitted from a judgement call, but we also almost got killed on the same call ourselves in a game earlier in the year in Bardo. I still am unsure what the correct ruling is when there is no contact but the fielder hesitates getting to the ball because he sees the runner coming at him. I know if I am a runner now, I am definitely not getting in the way as much as possible to avoid a future call – wrong or not I guess?The only thing I will say is at least the base ump called it right away. In Bardo the play happened, we scored two runs, then after a few minutes we had a guy called out and people sent back which looked bad. That's my honest answer. Of course, I "booted" the ball, got the call our way and won so you can pretty much throw my opinion in the trash.

  • INTERFERENCE-an act by the team at bat which interferes with,obstructs,impedes,hinders,or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play.(all runners shall return to last base occupied at time of pitch unless force to advance).

  • I have never seen a runner called out for screening an infielder, and it has happened several times this year. With the vague rule of "A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out" I could see screening being interpreted as interfernce some day, and it will be controversial.I have seen a runner called out for interference like the situation Buzzell described where the fielder hesitated to go field a ball for fear of contact, though no contact was made. That happened in the finals vs Bardo in 2009 and cost the As at least 1 run if not more. And no, Pete was not umping, I believe Bowie made that call if memory serves. They still ended up winning, but a very gutsy call by the ump, and the home town crowd was not pleased. At the time I thought it was the wrong call, and I still do. Maybe in a PeeWee house league that should be interference, but in a senior league where guys have been playing ball in some cases for decades, the fielder should be smart enough to know the interference rules and shouldn't shy away from the contact. It would make it an easier call for the umpires as well if actual contact is made.It sounds like this has come up quite a bit this year, maybe they are focusing on this rule a little more at umpire clinics or maybe there is a focus on a different interpretation of the vague rule that we haven't seen in the past. Maybe someone should contact the Baseball Alberta umpire chief for his interpretation so it is a little clearer for everyone.

  • I could not see the play well from my angle but I do not understand why Ryley is trying to argue that because it was a force play at 3rd, the runner was under no obligation to avoid the SS. The fact that it was a force makes no difference whatsoever…I am not quite sure why they think it should. The runner either interfered or he didn't (and I can't say for sure if he did or not), but you do not get a free pass to interfere because it is a force play

  • All I know is that I watch a lot of MLB games and although this is no where near the majors there is no time in my recent memory of seeing a runner called out for interference and I don't see them stopping to let the ball by when they are running unless it's to avoid getting hit with it.