CHICAGO | If this were Major League Baseball, they might still be reviewing this one.
Times No. 1 Mount Carmel topped No. 4 Marian Catholic, 3-2, at Haggerty Field on Thursday afternoon, but Marian coach Phil Wail had a different view of a third-inning play that could have made a difference.
After Chris Baker led off the inning with a home run to center field, the Spartans (6-5) were rallying. With two outs and Matt Clary on second, Kellen Williams singled to left and Clary tried to score.
Mount Carmel left-fielder Greg Ploszaj hit cutoff man A.J. Lewis, who fired to catcher Scott Kapers. A sliding Clary was called out and the inning ended.
"As far as I am concerned it's still 3-3," Wail said. "I asked the umpire where he tagged him and he said the chest. We got it on (video) tape that he got him on the back. How can you tag someone on the back and he be out?"
Clary said he was safe.
"I slid around it (the tag) and I was in," Clary said. "My hand was on the plate when he tagged me. He got me on the back of the shoulder."
Ploszaj said he knew when the ball was hit that it would be a close play.
"I got him," Ploszaj said. "I hit the cutoff (man) and he made a great throw. It was close, but we got him."
Ironically, Marian's second run came on a close play at the plate as Baker just beat a throw from Josh Stowers to tie the game 2-2.
It was Stowers who got things started in the sixth. Most people expect the Louisville recruit to rip the cover off the ball, but Stowers' one-out bunt turned out to be the catalyst for the win. A.J. Lewis singled him to third and Nick Wheeler's sacrifice fly drove him in with what turned out to be the winning run.
"I worked a lot during the offseason on my bunting," Stowers said. "Opponents don’t expect me to bunt. That’s why I like to do it."
So did Caravan coach Brian Hurry.
"Josh did that on his own," Hurry said. "We talk about little things that win games. Totally unselfish by Josh. He knew he had to get on and he was able to use his speed."
The Caravan (7-2) took a 1-0 lead in the second by virtue of three consecutive walks. Stowers had singled and scored when Kapers, a Valparaiso recruit, walked with the bases loaded.
Dave Dobrinich scored the Caravan's second run in the third when he walked and stole second. Malik Carpenter doubled to center, scoring him. Carpenter was thrown out trying to stretch his double into a triple.