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Umpire goes Al Haig

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McClatchy/Burlington Hawk Eye

It isn't uncommon for a coach to be ejected from a high school baseball game from time to time.

But what transpired Thursday night at Falcon Field in West Burlington will be talked about for years to come.

West Burlington trailed Winfield-Mount Union 11-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Falcons rallied to within 11-9 when controversy struck.

A close call at home plate prompted W-MU coach Scott McCarty to come out of the dugout to argue the play with home plate umpire Don Briggs.

West Burlington coach Jeff Housel, not knowing time had been called, sent Caleb McDowell from third to home.

Briggs sent McDowell back to third, prompting Housel to come out and argue the play.

After both coaches were warned by Briggs, the crowd also drew a warning.

When a fan yelled from the crowd, Briggs ejected the entire crowd from the game.

Briggs then called West Burlington police, while West Burlington High School secretary Mary Storch, who witnessed the episode, called superintendent James Sleister, who came over to the field.

After discussing it with Briggs and base umpire Kevin Youngmeyer and both coaches, it was agreed that the fans would be allowed back into the game, with the understanding that anyone making a negative comment toward the officials would be ejected from the premises and could be charged with disorderly conduct.

''Everything seemed to be pretty much under control when I got here," Sleister said.

''(Briggs) ordered everyone out of here," Storch said. "Nobody was obeying him, so I thought I had better call Jim."

The final two innings were played without further incident, although under the watchful eyes of two West Burlington police officers and Sleister.

West Burlington won the game 12-11 when Dustin Guihan stole home in the bottom of the seventh.

Briggs and Youngmeyer were escorted from the field after the game by West Burlington police without incident.

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haha that is crazy! Last year in one of our high school games an umpire threatened to kick out the entire crowd but nothing happened. It would be funny to see an umpire try an enforce that.

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It would be very easy to enforce. All he has to do is stop the game until everyone leaves; they don't leave, no umpire, no umpire equals no game, pretty simple.

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Sounds like a guy with an attitude problems, umps have been getting yelled at from the crowd since the game began, most can just grin and bear it.

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when a "blue" ejects the crowd or a member of the crowd, it is up to the home team to enforce that ejection. Otherwise, the home team will forfeit the game. I umped for 18 years and have ejected members of the crowd. Especially with youth play there are rules by the leagues for crowd conduct and they are there because of spectator behavior in previous seasons.

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So a close play and another wanna be Pro sports manager who's watched too many sports center highlights thinks he's Lou Pinella... see it all the time!

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