Iowa Little Leaguer Blames ESPN for Missed Strike Call

Little League umpiring isn’t perfect. However, when a late call in Saturday’s Iowa-Washington game didn’t go his team’s way, one player believed it wasn’t just the umpire pulling the strings.

Davenport, Iowa, was up 6-3 and one out away from winning an elimination game against Bonney Lake, Wash., at the 2022 Little League World Series. Iowa’s hurler threw a borderline 3-2 pitch that could’ve wound up being the game-clinching strikeout. Instead, the home plate umpire called a ball, bringing the potential tying run to the plate.

When the team convened at the pitcher’s mound, one player called out ESPN for prolonging the game to create added drama. ABC, which broadcasted Saturday’s game and had Iowa’s coach mic’d up, was able to pick up the audio during the mound visit:

Iowa’s coach was able to refocus his team, which came away with a 6-3 win that ended Washington’s run in Williamsport, Pa.

After losing its first game to Indiana on Thursday, Iowa has won back-to-back games to keep its championship hopes alive. Along with the win over Washington on Saturday, Iowa returned to the field on Sunday and picked up a 10-2 win over Utah.

Next up for Iowa is another elimination game on Tuesday against the loser of Monday’s Hawaii-Texas.

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