Softball team organizes play to intentionally hit umpire in face with pitch (Video)

umpire softballHere’s something you don’t see everyday.

Apparently angry over calls not going their way, a fastpitch traveling softball team organized a play where the catcher would duck out of the way so that a pitcher’s pitch would intentionally hit the umpire in the face. The umpire realized the play was done intentionally and immediately ejected the coach, catcher and pitcher, and the game was called.

This actually took place in October but is now making the rounds after For the Win spotted it at a softball message board. We have more background on the incident/event below.

This took place at the Firecrackers and Triple Crown Sports presents: Showcase at Big League Dreams in West Covina, Calif. The showcase was a three-day event for traveling softball teams where college coaches came to scout. The game in question took place on a Saturday night at the Fenway Park replica field in West Covina. The entire event was played at a complex called “Big League Dreams,” which has several locations in California, Nevada, Texas and Arizona, all with replica fields of famous baseball stadiums. The teams involved were from the 18 Gold level (the highest level of travel ball play). This game featured Minors Gold and the California Cruisers Mel Sievers team, both of whom are from Southern California. The Cruisers are historically one of the better traveling programs in the country.

Minors Gold is in blue and has the bases loaded. Cruisers pitcher Hailey Hilburn (you can hear everyone yelling Hailey in the video), who is currently a high school junior at Canyon High School in Anaheim and verbally committed to Utah, throws a pitch down the middle but appears low that is called for ball four to walk in a run. One of the Cruisers coaches (people on message boards are saying it was Sievers) comes out to the circle for a visit with his infield. On the next pitch, the catcher jumps out of the way and Hilburn’s pitch hits the umpire squarely in the face.

The ump clearly realized what was going on and ejected the coach, pitcher and catcher and the game was called. This says Minors Gold won 7-2, though another boxscore says Minors Gold was winning 6-1 when the game was called in the third. It was a pretty dirty play, no doubt about it, and absolutely uncalled for. Regardless of how bad the umpiring is, you don’t retaliate in that manner.

This message board says Triple Crown Sports met with Sievers, the coach of the Cruisers, about the incident. This thread notes that the Cruisers did not participate in Triple Crown’s next event in So Cal.

The Cruisers went 1-4 in the showcase. They played two games the next day even after the incident on Saturday night.

[Related: JC baseball player suspended for season for cheap shot]

If you’re curious to see more of what preceded the incident, a full video of the game is below. Around the 51:30 mark, the Cruisers switch pitchers after giving up a 2-run double with the bases loaded. Hilburn comes in and walks the next four batters. You can hear spectators complaining about the calls all along and sarcastically give a big cheer around the 1:01:30 mark when they finally get a strike call. The full game is below. The incident is at the very end of the video.

Around The Web

  • PeteRFNY

    To be fair, that WAS a pretty awful ball/strike call. (just kidding).

  • clayromer

    The ump ejected himself? “The ump clearly realized what was going on and ejected the coach, pitcher and ump, and the game was called.”

  • Azagthoth

    I’m outta here!

  • Jim Cowan

    Once again, certain over-the-top coaches are teaching these high school athletes poor sportsmanship.

  • Greg Gaugler

    Probably meant “catcher.” Though it looks like the 2nd base ump made it clear the catcher was being ejected.

    I could only hope the pitcher and catcher lose any scholarships they have coming to them… and tbh the coach and players involved should nearly have criminal charges brought up on them.

  • John O’Keefe

    This is supposedly a college showcase tournament,,,,,,what college coach would be impressed by this,,,,,,kinda defeats the purpose of entering this event!!!!

  • Uziser Tophias


  • Uziser Tophias


  • Zach Berger


  • disqus_jV4v9EwZMC

    Haha wow what a terrible coach teaching awful things. I don’t care if it was a bad call. You and you’re whole team should be ashamed and kicked out of that tournament and I hope colleges turned see how awful of the players that was.

  • Eklypse13@yahoo.com

    I say good throw. The pitch before was clearly a strike. That up got exaclty wat he deserved. Its not like he was injured that what his mask is for.

  • Puckman637

    really you can tell that from an elevated angle 50 feet away? Thanks I think I will go with the call of the person who has been trained what to look for and is also about a foot and a half away from the play. idiot.

  • scott


  • bennie

    That is going to far reject a scholarship really?

  • Greg Gaugler

    It’s assault and criminal. Kids lose scholarships for much less.

  • hogtyed

    Really!? Even the catcher didn’t think it was a strike. She catches the ball and moves it up 6″. I good catchers catches it with most of her glove in the strike zone and holds it for a about a second, then returns it to the pitcher. You DO NOT move it into the strike zone afterwards. That’s a sign of a poorly trained catcher and you will cost your team a lot of borderline strikes doing that.

  • hogtyed

    It happened in a high school baseball game two or three years ago. Exact same thing. Both the pitcher and the catcher lost their scholarships over it.

    So, no, it’s not going too far.

  • hogtyed

    Here’s the youtube link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH_2itdz-1E

  • who_dat

    The pitcher will fit in well at Utah. Ask the swim team members and Rick Majerus’ players. ,

  • Spencer

    Apparently, Utah’s coach is (smh)

  • Gerri Ewing

    Really bad sportsmanship! It is a game, and coaches like that should have a lifetime ban from the sport. There is NEVER a reason in a sporting event to cause harm to another human being. If a GAME is a life or death situation for you, you need to stop playing. And the only reason to intentionally hurt someone is if you are in that live or death situation. No matter how long it has been going on it is WRONG! And for all those players/coaches/parents that think it is there job it piss and whine about every call the umpire makes. Think about how you would like to have that thrown back at you? When I was umping coaches, players and especially parents would do lots of things that I thought were completely stupid. Not once did I feel the need to throw anything at them, or scream about how completely stupid they were. It’s called having class kids! Several of you need to work on having some. Sorry long rant, but this type of behavior is ridiculous and needs to be stopped.

  • Johnny Yahooo

    Maybe some of that “got what he deserved” karma will hit you right in the face fool.

  • fastlife19

    What? Big mouth in the background got nothing to say after that BS move?

  • Softballumpire

    The real question is that coach still a coach and all three shouldn’t be able to play softball or coach softball every again. As someone else said if a catcher moves her glove she know its not a strike. I tell them not to move it they get there calls more.

  • joelive35

    this was just a way to show the umpire that he is not above the game, like he clearly thought he was… listen to the fans… he clearly was calling every pitch a ball… as a guy who has played and coached for 34 years, i have seen way too many umpires think they above the game… i have seen this play ran before at a few levels of baseball… from little league to county league… like i said, it is a way to bring an umpire that is abusing his little bit of power down a notch or two… watch the umpire walk away… he isn’t hurt, just embarrassed that they put him in his place… way to go girls, you did the right thing… i bet that umpire pissed in his pants just a little bit…

  • PuraPuma

    Exactly! The catcher did move it. My daughter is a catcher and she called it a ball too w/ no sound on. The ump did not get what he deserved and I can’t believe there are people who believe that. That’s sad. Yes let’s teach our daughters, who are already at a disadvantage in sports in this nation, that the best way to handle adversity is to react with violence. When they get a bad grade then what? They’ll throw something at the teacher? What happens at work when their co-worker takes work from them and they are left with nothing? They going to throw a printer at their co-worker? Waah Waah waah. Pitch better.

  • PuraPuma

    It was low. Watch the catcher’s glove. I’m sure you watch a ton of softball….

  • PhyreSpirit

    It seems this umpire was really consistent with his strike zone both ways and no one had a problem with that until 56 minutes into the game when the Cal Cruisers started loosing – Big! Instead of that being because MG was the better team – OBVIOUSLY – this coach, these parents, and kids decided the umpire was to blame. A little thing called personal responsibility would go a long way here…

  • PhyreSpirit

    No umpire “pisses their pants” when that play is run you idiot. They wonder how old the moron in charge is because it is so infantile to blame an umpire for you or your team’s shortcomings… Umpires just walk off the field and go back to their day jobs shaking their heads that ANYONE would take a GAME so seriously as to believe physically harming someone to prove their superiority on a playing field was necessary, and thankful that they overpaid for more protective gear because morons like you exist.

  • Jim Hubbard

    I hope he also has charges brought against the participants. The truly sadthing is that the coach will still probabaly coach after a lengthy suspension but these 2 young ladies have almost definitely lost any chance to obtain a college softball scholarship unless they play for a relative somewhere. Shame! Shame!

  • Jim Hubbard

    We should be glad that you aren’t coaching or playing anymore. Matter of fact, come on out to Florida and say the same thing. Bet I can make YOU piss your pants……………..

  • Rob levy

    It is not an assault, there is not intent to cause physical injury…and to the person that feels they should lose scholarships is an idiot…. It may not have been the right way to protest but their point was made…..you can’t argue balls and strike, so sometimes unjust has to be met with unjust……

  • Colleen Matthes

    Verbal commitment to Utah? HA! If I were them, I’d take back the offer. UNREAL. Seriously, in all of my years of playing travel and college ball, I have never seen that. To INTENTIONALLY harm an umpire because you don’t agree with their calls? Grow up. It’s called working with what you got. It’s a part of the game and it’s not always easy.

  • disqus_ju8oqA4edt

    wow, man…. the person who assumes there was no intent to cause harm is a moron. The girls are morons too for listing to their stupid coach. Now they are have to take responsibility for the actions. Make your bed, go lie in it….

  • Eric F. Chiasson

    The offer has been revoked. The coach had no problem with it till the video was seen by a lot of people, To prevent more heat on the coach the school revoked the offer.

  • Sean

    Disgusting. That coach should never be around impressionable youth athletes. This is not what sports is about. Very shameful.

  • PTown Joe

    Don’t be a baby Greg. The fact is the Umpire got pissed at the Coach and was taking it out on the players by not calling strikes that were strikes. As a Coach of over 20 years I have seen this a multitude of times. Some Umpires like to think they are bigger than the game itself and this guy seems to be that type of Umpire.

  • Greg Gaugler

    So when Umpires heads get to big… knock em back down to earth by throwing a baseball at him. That’s ok. Lets just accept thats the way it is. Don’t teach good sportsmanship. Don’t punish anybody. Don’t let it be a life lesson for how life isn’t fair sometimes. Lets just look at what the umpire did to deserve it. Brilliant. You just seem so brilliant.

  • Softballumpire

    no intent to cause harm yea throwing a softball at an umpire face is intent to hurt

  • Christopher Hahn

    Are you kidding me? a little far? I would have seen to it that they were arrested.. I referee ice hockey and if a kid purposely shot the puck at me, and it was a set play from the coach, there would be police there and they would all be arrested..

  • Christopher Hahn

    So you’re telling me throwing a fast pitch at someones face is not intending to cause physical harm.. I think you’re the idiot.

  • Jay-Are Barnes

    Stop being a baby pro baseball players throw at people all the time and they throw a lot harder then a 16 year old. Pretty sure no one in the majors have ever been arrested and they are adults. You would have to build a special jail just for athletes lol. Get over it eject or suspend them and move on legal action is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Thanks for the laugh though