Pandemonium ensues as pine tar overturns college HR

April 11th, 2022

It's a scene etched in the mind of baseball fans everywhere, whether they saw it when it happened or watched film of it later: An incensed George Brett sprinting out of the visiting dugout after his home run against the Yankees on July 24, 1983, was ruled an out due to the amount of pine tar on his bat.

That ruling was eventually reversed, and Brett was awarded the home run, one of 25 he would hit that year for the Royals. But it instantly became an iconic baseball moment.

We saw shades of Brett and the famous Pine Tar Incident in a college game between the University of Central Florida and Memphis on Sunday at FedExPark Avron Fogelman Field in Memphis, Tenn. In the top of the first inning, UCF catcher Andrew Sundean belted a three-run homer to left field to give the Knights a 5-0 lead.

Memphis challenged the home run, arguing there was too much pine tar on Sundean's bat. Reminiscent of the famous Brett incident in the Bronx 39 years ago, the umpires laid Sundean's bat across home plate to measure the amount of pine tar. They ruled Sundean out, and while Sundean didn't come sprinting out of the dugout, UCF's head coach -- Greg Lovelady -- made his way toward the umpires to make his feelings known. 

Lovelady vehemently argued with the umpires before having to be held back from going to the Memphis dugout. He was ejected from the game, as was Memphis' pitcher, right-hander Blake Wimberley, who began yelling at Lovelady before the benches started emptying.

Just as in the Brett incident, the ruling that the home run didn't count, and that the batter was out, was overturned -- though this time, it was done during the game, after a check of the rule book. In Brett's case, the Commissioner's office overturned the call at a later date.

When play finally resumed, UCF continued to pour it on, sending 14 men to the plate and scoring 10 runs in an eventual 15-6 win.