Texas Association Of Sports Officials Will Investigate Umpire Actions During Texas High-Whitehouse Baseball Playoff Series
The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) announced late Tuesday afternoon it has opened an investigation pertaining to umpire actions in last week's three-game Class 5A baseball playoff series between Texas High and Whitehouse.
Whitehouse pulled off two wins Saturday after losing Game 1 on Friday to stun TxHighSchoolBaseball.com's No. 21 Class 5A team and the champion of District 15-5A. Texas High blew an 8-2 lead in Game 3 for a decisive 9-8 loss against the fourth and final playoff seed from District 16-5A.
Texas High accepted its losses at face value, but a troubling video surfaced Monday.
The video showed a Collin County-based first base umpire covering a visible home plate with dirt while Texas High's J.T. Morgan went around the bases following a home run during Saturday's Game 2. If Morgan did not touch home plate before making his way back inside the dugout, his homer could have been ruled an out.
Upon nearing home plate, Morgan put his hands out in confusion. He then tapped some dirt off the plate with his cleats to clear a spot to confirm he had indeed scored.
Whitehouse won that game, 7-3.
Texas High players reached out to ETSN.fm for help Monday evening, citing other technicalities from the Collin County chapter crew during the series. ETSN.fm contacted TASO Tuesday seeking comment from executive director Michael Fitch but was not successful in getting a comment directly from Fitch.
TASO did inform ETSN.fm within moments of posting a statement for the general public on its website.
TASO's statement in full reads:
The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) has been made aware of the incident involving our members during the Texas High vs. Whitehouse Baseball game this past weekend. Our organization has an established process to address serious complaints of this nature.
TASO will conduct a thorough investigation regarding all aspects of the 3 game series and take any necessary action based on the outcome of the investigation.
As always, our organization is committed to our Texas student athletes to ensure a fair and impartial outcome of every game.
Texas High head coach John McClure, when asked for comment, said he knows the name of the umpire in question. He declined to offer it to ETSN.fm.
McClure also stressed he is not presently pressing for a conviction from TASO toward the umpire or umpires. At the same time, he wants TASO to investigate the matter because he is dealing with a heartbroken and very upset community.
Whitehouse head coach Derrick Jenkins declined comment through a text message ahead of TASO's statement. He suggested ETSN.fm contact the officials' chapter.
Jenkins did, however, seem sympathetic toward Texas High's situation.
As of Tuesday evening, Whitehouse is slated to face Ennis in a three-game series that begins Thursday at Ennis High School.