CWS will use video review on close home-run calls

Associated Press Modified: June 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm •  Published: June 12, 2012

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — For now, only an umpire's call on whether a home run really is a home run will be subject to video review at the College World Series.

NCAA vice president for football and baseball Dennis Poppe said Tuesday that officials would have to think long and hard about adding other situations that could be reviewed.

Division I baseball leaders for several years have discussed the possibility of using instant replay, Poppe said, but didn't take action until after a home run was wrongly ruled a double at last year's CWS.

"There's an example of where instant replay could have corrected that," Poppe said. "Fortunately, it didn't impact the game. But you don't want human error or the inability to see something to influence the game and the effort the kids put forth. You've got to make sure it's as fair and square as can be."

Umpires at the CWS, which starts Friday, will be limited to reviewing whether a batted ball has cleared the fence, gone foul or if a fan has interfered.

"Let's walk before we run," Poppe said. "Let's make sure we have down the crucial issues, and there probably is no more crucial issue than the home run — whether it's good or bad."

Last year, in an 8-4 win over Texas, Florida's Brian Johnson hit a ball that bounced back into play after striking the railing above the yellow line atop the right-center wall. The NCAA umpire coordinator said after the game that the hit should have been ruled a home run and that the umpires' decision to hold Johnson at second base was wrong.

"All that matters last year is we won the game," Johnson said Tuesday, adding that he heard a couple days ago that instant replay would be used this year.

Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan, whose team is back in Omaha as the No. 1 national seed, said anything that can help the umpires get the call right is a good thing.

"That's no knock on not getting the call last year," O'Sullivan said. "That's what makes this sport so good: there's decisions sometimes in the game that aren't right and you've got to battle through those decisions."

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