Ball ends up in ump's pocket ... run scores?

June 6th, 2021

Aim to do this 1,000 more times, and it'd never happen again. In the top of the sixth inning of Arizona State's game against Fairfield, the Sun Devils were gifted a run by the home-plate umpire's pocket.

The pitch to hitter Sean McClain was high and tight, and it whizzed directly past the catcher's glove and into the umpire's front shirt pocket. Predictably, nobody knew what had just happened. Hitter, catcher and umpire were all looking around for the ball, which had seemingly disappeared into thin air.

While there's no perfect way of denoting the ridiculous play in the box score, it was called a wild pitch with a run coming in to score. At the time, it gave Arizona State the lead.

This actually happened in even more improbable form in the Majors in 2019, when the Cubs' Willson Contreras fouled a ball off that found its way into the home-plate umpire's right pants pocket.