PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pete Kotz played years of baseball including time in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, and he says he’s never seen anything like this before.
“Bad luck. It’s just part of the game, unfortunately," Kotz said.
Kotz now runs The Hitting Academy in Clearwater where coaches teach kids the finer points of baseball. But that kind of play isn’t really part of any lesson.
"The spin was crazy. I’ve never seen a ball spin-off of somebody and then hop over the fence. That was quite uncommon," said Kotz.
Coach Billy Ross says this was unusual for sure.
“You always see balls hit off the ground and go over the fence. There have been multiple times where fans reach over the fence and touch the ball, but it's a part of the game," said Ross.
Everyone agrees the umpires made the right call in ruling the play a ground-rule double. But a lot of Rays fans think the rule needs to be changed and that it definitely cost Tampa Bay a chance at winning.
“Unfortunately it cut off that momentum. It cut off what they could have done. It was just unfortunate," said Ross.
“The whole strategy may have changed had they scored that run. But I do think that it deflated them. But the Rays are young and they are resilient. I’m sure they’ll probably find a way to win Games 4 and 5," said Kotz.