So, did Heston intentionally decoy that home run

Intending to get the runner to go back to first, or was it just something that happened and the runner at first screwed up (or maybe the first base coach).

no I don’t think he did

From what he said in the after game interview, I don’t think so.

But, inadvertantly, he sure looked like he had caught the ball. I can see why the Auburn players were confused.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an outfielder fake catching a home run. The excitement that they caught it is always pretty obvious. The disappointment that they don’t is also pretty easy to see and impossible to mask. There may be times when they think they’ve got it and look in glove and don’t have it – so there might be some confusion even on their part for a bit. But I don’t think he faked it and he sure didn’t claim that afterwards. That would be pretty magical for a freshmen to pull that off, right?

IMO, what happened on that play was the product of two things that happened almost simultaneously. First, it appeared to many (including me, watching on TV) that Heston had actually caught the ball. Even on replay, when I knew he hadn’t, it looked like it went into his glove. I can imagine it may well have appeared that way to the base-runner, sprinting down the base-path about 300 feet away.

The other thing that happened was that it also appeared that Heston may have hurt himself, and/or was shaken up. As Clay mentioned, usually a HR stealing catch is celebrated, and the player who catches it is very animated. However, if the player were to be hurt by running into the fence, there is no expectation of celebration. I believe it was the combination of the appearance that HK caught the ball, along with the fact that it looked like he was momentarily shaken up that “decoyed” the runners and caused confusion.

It clearly was not something he was trying to do to deceive them. It just happened that way.

I don’t think he faked it, either. That would have required incredible foresight & even if he’d had it, there’s no reason to believe that was going to cause the runners to pass each other. Like Wiz, even after I knew it had cleared the fence, I still couldn’t see it on replay. It’s just one of those lucky things that happens in baseball from time to time & we benefited from it. It was a base-running error by the runner on first. For that matter even the hitter screwed up. If the ball was over the fence, they weren’t going to penalize him if he took a few seconds too long to round the bases.

That said, I wouldn’t especially fault the Auburn players or the umpires, either. If you can’t see it, you can’t see it. If they had called it wrong there was going to be a problem. If they call it an HR & it was caught & HK gets the ball back to first because the runner on first couldn’t get back, that would have been a problem. If they called it caught, then what happened was a risk. Like I said, just one of those bizarre plays that happens, but that still didn’t cause the runner on first to overtake the batter on the base path. So, while I can’t really “blame” the AU runner, he was still out.

But, it wasn’t the base runner’s fault in any circumstance, was it? It seems that it is the batter’s responsibility to assure that he does not touch any of the bases before the base runner does.

The batter was standing still between first and second base. He did not touch any of the bases before the runner did. The runner passed him on the way back to the first base bag.

It’s not that the batter touched a base before the runner. Jeff is right. The base runner came back & passed the batter who was pretty much standing still between first & second. Hard to blame anyone else.

Yup, it was the lead runner who screwed up by returning to 1B.

So, I can’t remember seeing an angle on this, but shouldn’t the AU coach at first base been on top of this? Why else is he there, seems like he shoulders some of the blame, or we may still be in extra innings.

I bet he couldn’t see it, either. But why would he be responsible?

In the video they showed on Rally Cap last night, you could see the first base coach telling the runner to go back to second, but it was already too late; he’d gone past the batter.

Yes. He was trying his hardest to get Brett Wright’s attention, but there wasn’t a lot he could do in that situation.